I firmly believe that hard work is one of the most honorable character traits a person can have. Individuals who accomplish greatness are individuals who work hard. When life gets tough the tough get going. Hard work is an essential ingredient to success.
So, why then do some people put in massive amounts of hard work and stay stuck in their circumstances for years? Doesn't work and effort = success. Increase the work and increase the output? Our level of effort is proportional to our progress or return Right?
Too often we pump a colossal expenditure of "hard work" into a project and are simply turning our hamster wheel a little faster. When, if strategically implemented, half the effort would produce and equal or significantly greater outcome.
The key? Work hard and smart.
Two ladies hit the gym day after day. In one year, one lady loses a significant amount of body fat and is ready for a bodybuilding contest. The other is lifting the same weight but has maintained a stagnant body composition. Both work incredibly hard, count calories and have a burning desire to be fit. What's the difference? Who has worked hard and smart? Tracing what you eat and working out regularly is hard and keeps you healthy. Tracking an appropriate calorie range with balanced macro nutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) while changing exercise routines to challenge new muscles is also hard -- and often takes the same amount of time but produces better results.
Paying shackling credit card bills and keeping afloat in debt is hard not smart. Sure you get the house now, but how is your blood pressure? How well do you sleep at night? Delaying gratification by aggressively investing is hard and smart.
Pumping funds into retirement starting at age 50 is working hard not smart. Investing early and letting interest compound for you is working hard and smart. Both require effort; however, in the end who gets to be the "Millionaire Next Door?"
Working hard and smart is working to Heavenly retirement!