22 differences between hard work and smart work
The idea that you should work smarter and not harder isn’t anything new.
At that, it’s pretty simple to explain what working hard means. If you want to be successful in the long run, you have to put long hours into work. You have to start early, before everyone else, and you have to stay up late when everyone else is already enjoying their afternoons and evenings.
On the other hand, it’s hard to find a very clear guideline on what working smart really means and how it’s different from hard work. Many people work hard, but only a few become really successful. That’s because smart work is what makes the difference.
So, what is the secret of working smart? Let’s look at the main elements of smart work, from the most obvious ones to the most concealed ones that fine tune smart work and can take your success level a step further.
- 1. To work smart, you have to make your brain work hard
- 2. Acquire rare skills that are in high demand
- 3. As a smart worker, build on your strengths
- 4. Make sure you are in the right (high growth) industry
- 5. Carefully select the right opportunities
- 6. Have a clear picture of what you really want in life
- 7. Always think hard and plan diligently before acting
- 8. Develop really good time management skills
- 9. Focus on creating, delivering, and capturing value
- 10. Be innovative and bold in your agency
- 11. As a smart worker you must have as much control as possible
- 12. Leverage other people’s time
- 13. Leverage other people’s money
- 14. Try to build a passive or portfolio income source
- 15. Smart workers stand on the shoulders of giants
- 16. Network very actively and ask for help when needed
- 17. Surround yourself with smarter and more successful
- 18. As a smart worker, learn to put yourself first
- 19. Know when to cut your losses
- 20. Be agile and adaptable in your agency
- 21. Look on the bright side of life
- 22. As a smart worker take care of your community
1. To work smart, you have to make your brain work hard
We live in a post-information age, where the future belongs to the creative class. If you want to create value in a creative society, your brain muscle must be as strong as possible. You have to constantly train yours and challenge yourself to new intellectual levels as both the analytical and the creative part of your brain are very important.
Smart workers take really good care of their competences. They read, develop street smarts and make sure they become extremely resourceful. They invest massively into developing useful and practical knowledge and abilities. It can be through formal or informal education.
You can never be overpaid, overdressed, or overeducated.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Acquire really good domain knowledge through formal (if it makes sense) or informal education.
- Constantly train your creative mind by writing down ideas and engaging with art, music, etc.
- Train your analytical mind by doing mind-maps, analyzing different subjects, etc.
- Read different things and try to connect them in new ways.
- Become really good with technology.
- Learn how to think for yourself and question everything.
- Never stop acquiring knowledge and stay curious.
2. Acquire rare skills that are in high demand
Being a smart worker means exposing yourself to as many opportunities as possible. Options and opportunities mean faster promotion or more clients and, consequently, more added value and more money.
The best way to do that is to own competences that are in great demand but very short supply. People who combine the right markets with the right competences are the winners. Here’s the magical combination that smart workers understand very well:
- Addressing niche markets that have potential for exponential growth and are rapidly expanding.
- Developing competences that are in big demand but short supply on those markets.
There are a few options as to how to do that. One is to acquire domain expertise which require a lot of effort to master, like for example becoming a top programmer or engineer. There are many low-level skills programmers on the market, but really good programmers are a very precious resource. A good engineer in biotech, alternative energy, fintech and other perspective industries will always find numerous options for work.
The second option is developing really valuable business skills. There’s a flood of economists and MBAs on the market, but there’s always a job or a business opportunity for people who excel in sales, internet marketing, leadership etc. But as was already mentioned, you have to be very skilled.
The third option is to develop any special talents you possess that are really valuable on the market, like pop music, digital design, entrepreneurship and innovating, being a top-tier doctor, lawyer or pharmacist etc.
People who combine the right markets with the right competences are the winners.
Whatever you do, remember that you have to become exceptional at it. In capitalism, a few people reap most of the rewards. Based on the Pareto principle, 20 % of the best get 80 % of the rewards. So smart workers make sure they become the best in whatever field they’ve chosen as their career.
Do you want to work smarter? If so:
- List all the talents that you could develop and that there is a big demand and scarce supply of on the market. If you have a hard time doing that, list all the talents you have and then rate supply and demand for all of them on a scale from one to ten.
- Think about which of the talents, competences, and skills you’re currently developing are low-level skills and can be provided by others for a very cheap price. Build a strategy for how you can stop doing these low-level activities and focus on the work that brings a much greater added value.
- Test your value on the market from time to time. Try to get a new job offer or a better client that will pay more. You’re always on the market and you always have to know where you stand.
3. As a smart worker, build on your strengths
Smart people work on their strengths and develop their talents to the level where they really excel. It helps them to stand out from the crowd. But on the other hand, they also very carefully take their weaknesses into consideration.
A smart worker splits their weaknesses into two categories:
The first category are all the weaknesses that don’t matter and can simply be forgotten about. These are the weaknesses that have zero contribution to maximizing value creation and quality of life. Who cares if you don’t know how to dance ballet?
The second type of weaknesses are the ones that you have to abolish; some of them only to a certain extent, others completely. Getting rid of one of your weaknesses can make a big difference for your success.
Many times, working smarter means focusing yourself on building up a few of your strengths and doing away with a few weaknesses that really drags you down. An alternative approach is to find a team of people who substitute the weaknesses the smart worker has.
Hard workers don’t build on their strengths. They’re usually afraid to shine and excel and stand up for something, except for hard work, of course. They only hope very deeply that their hard work will speak for them. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
Many times, hard workers only compensate with hard work to hide their weaknesses. Smart workers, on the other hand, think of how to get rid of the weaknesses or substitute them with other people, while shining with their strengths.
In order to work smarter, consider the following:
- Focus on developing your strengths to the point where you will really shine and stand out.
- List all the weaknesses you can forget about and then actually do it.
- Decide which of your weaknesses you’ll substitute with teammates and coworkers.
- Decide which of your weaknesses you’ll develop to the minimally acceptable level.
- Decide which of your weaknesses you’ll develop into strengths by investing an insane amount of resources into leveling up your game.
4. Make sure you are in the right (high growth) industry
The cruel fact of capitalism is that markets always win. Markets are the one thing that can put your career on the fast track or destroy it in the blink of an eye. Market trends and industry outlooks have a big influence on your success rate.
People operating in the right markets (industries) are exposed to more business opportunities, can earn a lot more money more quickly, and have a positive sentiment regarding their work.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
The right markets are stable markets with high growth and good long-term perspectives. On the other hand, if you find yourself on the wrong market; a market that’s in decline, has stiff competition and a negative future outlook; there are fewer and fewer opportunities, the probability of losing your job or business clients is much higher, and depressed markets carry their depression over to you sooner or later.
Smart work means choosing the right industry. This means not choosing the industry and markets you will operate in based only on your interests, talents, hobbies, family traditions and the field you’d like to study in, but analytically choosing the industry that has the most potential and where you can still create and deliver value.
It’s probably much better to be an average worker in a good industry than a top performer on a lousy market.
The problem with this approach is that changing an industry is a pain and quite hard. When you want to change an industry, you don’t have enough domain knowledge, you don’t have a social network in that area, and you have many incorrect assumptions, which leads to different disappointments you have to cope with when you enter a new industry.
You can choose the industry you’ll operate in only a few times in your lifetime, and if you want to work smart, you should choose it very carefully.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Choose your industry and the markets you operate in very carefully.
- Read all the predictions and trends for your industry, and understand where it’s headed.
- Find micro niches in your chosen industry that have the potential to grow fast and get big in the future, and strategically focus on those.
- Wait for the right opportunity with low risk and a massive potential reward.
- Have a system for red-flags that indicate markets becoming depressed, and react quickly.
5. Carefully select the right opportunities
When you are open and exposed to new opportunities, there’s another problem. You have to be very careful which opportunities to choose. Smart workers very carefully select the opportunities they engage with and have no problem saying no.
They’re patient and wait for the one right thing with low risk and massive potential return. It’s called value investing and, as mentioned, your time is the most precious resource you can invest.
Your energy and resources are very limited, thus as a smart worker you have to choose your battles very carefully. If you say yes to everything, you’ll burn out sooner or later. A burnt-out worker is not a smart worker. Smart workers learn to say no very early in life.
Want to be a smarter worker?
- You should carefully think about what could go right if you engage in the opportunity, what could go wrong, how much of your resources you have to invest, what other risks there are and what the maximum reward or potential return on your investment is. In other words, you have to think like an investor about every opportunity you follow in life.
- Smart workers think like investors for every single dollar they own and for every single second they have in life.
6. Have a clear picture of what you really want in life
Going for the right opportunities is closely connected with having a clear picture of what you really want in life. There’s one big difference between really successful and unsuccessful or mildly successful individuals.
Really successful people know what they want. They have a very clear picture of their desired final outcome or endgame from the very beginning. That also goes for smart workers.
Because they know what they want, they can build their strategy much more easily and make better choices in the process. You can’t work smart if you don’t know what you want.
Smart workers know what they want and they fight for it with much more than just hard work. They have a strategy. Hard workers have a vague idea of what they want and consequently don’t take the best decisions or simply hope that hard work will pay off.
Well, sometimes it does, but many times it doesn’t. You must know very clearly why you work hard and, even more than that, you have to analyze what the most optimal way to achieve your endgame is. Smart workers think before they act.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Know your endgame, the desired final outcome, and have a clear picture of what you really want.
- Think about how to achieve that with the least amount of effort possible in a legal and moral way.
- Don’t just work hard, know what you’re working hard for.
- Always think, and listen to yourself before you act. Get to know yourself better.
7. Always think hard and plan diligently before acting
Hard workers just do work because there something on their to-do list. Smart workers always think before they act – for every single activity they analyze and ask:
- Why am I doing this?
- How much of my resources will it take?
- What will the rewards be?
- What is the optimal way to do the job?
- Which tools can help speed up the process?” and so on.
Smart workers are proactive, not reactive, when a new task potentially lands on their to-do list. In a very similar way, they always analyze what the best way to complete a specific task is, and they stay flexible with their tactics.
Smart workers are aware that every hour of planning can save many hours in execution. Smart workers are aware that good preparation and staying flexible in the process can save a ton of work later.
Fewer meetings later on, less communication necessary, more respect because of the preparation, and so on. As mentioned before, smart people choose very carefully when to say yes, but when they do say yes, they make sure to execute with surgical precision.
If you want to upgrade your hard work with smart work:
- Say yes to fewer things, but when you do say yes, fully commit. Always think, analyze and make a strategy before you act. Be more than a hundred percent prepared, and then prepare yourself even more. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
- Always under-promise and over-deliver, and manage expectations properly.
8. Develop really good time management skills
Smart workers are very well aware that time is the most precious resource they have. They value their time most in life. Thus, smart workers learn how to manage their time wisely.
Here’s a short summary of how to manage your time so that you can work smarter:
- Eliminate most distractions from your life so that you can work productively while in the flow.
- Learn how to deal with procrastination.
- 20 % of the most important tasks lead to 80 % of progress. Focus on that 20 %.
- Don’t let urgent tasks get in the way of your important tasks.
- Don’t spend your time on tasks that only give you a false feeling of productivity, like e-mails, meetings, or social networking.
- Don’t multitask, and have different to-do lists (daily 3, master to-do list, not to-do list etc.).
- Manage your energy, not only your time, and know your limits.
- Organize your environment so it supports your productivity (have a clean desk etc.).
- Know your biorhythm.
- Use two screens and productivity apps and use technology wisely.
- Visualize as many things as possible with Kanban boards.
- Automate, delegate, outsource, and optimize as much as possible.
- Introduce a no-interruptions day into your life.
- Don’t forget to sharpen and put down the saw.
- Track your time, to make the most out of it.
9. Focus on creating, delivering, and capturing value
If you manage your time poorly, you will definitely be poor. Being organized and having a good management system improves your capacity for hard and smart work.
But the bottom line of time management is to achieve a totally new level of productivity by being brutally focused on creating, delivering and capturing value. That’s what smart workers understand the most.
Smart work means understanding that there are only three activities that are really important for maximizing your life results.
- The first one is creating value (innovating),
- the second one is delivering value (marketing),
- and the third one is capturing value (invoicing), because in the end, if there’s no money, there’s no value.
An average worker and even a hard worker usually have a very poor system of task prioritization in place. They simply want all work to be done. Smart workers, on the other hand, don’t bother with most of the work they “should” do, but focus only on the tasks that bring the biggest long-term impact.
Those are always the things connected with creating, delivering, and capturing value. Everything else is a waste.
If you want to be a smart worker, only do things that:
- Create value (innovate and solve problems that people are prepared to pay for).
- Deliver value (let people know what you can deliver and deliver it).
- Know how to capture your value (negotiate everything, be aware that no money means no value).
- Focus 80 % of your time exclusively to the important tasks, and outsource and delegate the rest.
- Smart workers really focus on a few key things. You should too.
10. Be innovative and bold in your agency
Innovation distinguishes leaders from followers. Smart workers always innovate somehow. They always try to improve and find new ways to do things.
They doubt everything and are aware that there are no best practices as to how things should be done, because things can always be done faster, better and more efficiently.
Delivering value efficiently also means being bold in marketing oneself. Smart workers make sure that superiors, clients, and other people know what kind of value they can provide.
They have no problem with selling, negotiating, or public speaking. You can’t be a smart worker if you only sit quietly and work hard. If you want to be a smarter worker:
- Every day, write down 20 ideas for how you can create and deliver more value.
- Always stay hungry, and stay foolish.
- Constantly innovate and question everything. Ask yourself the hardest possible questions.
- Have no problem with marketing yourself and your skills.
11. As a smart worker you must have as much control as possible
Smart people are very well aware that in order to work smart, you need control - as much control as possible.
After (or even before) creating and delivering value, you have to make sure that as a smart worker, you have control over the situation and can capture the most value possible without any intermediaries (for example be an entrepreneur or boss than rather just an employee).
This is why most smart workers are entrepreneurs, managers, and other types of leaders. Smart workers want to get to the top as soon as possible.
If you have control, you can do things your way; and if you are a smart worker, you make sure that your way is the right way. Because you prepared yourself and you innovated, you’ve taken a big step further than all other people.
If you want to be a smart worker, you need to have as much control as possible:
- first over yourself, your emotions and your decisions;
- then by using legal entities, formal power, and other advantages.
If you don’t take complete control over your life, your potential choices are much more limited, and so is your possibility to work smarter.
In order to have more options for smart work:
- Take complete control of your life. Choice is the most powerful control you have in life. Use it wisely.
- Try to gain as much formal power as possible (combining it with informal power).
- Consider doing business by using your own legal entities.
- If you don’t control your systems, your money tree, and your brand, you control nothing.
12. Leverage other people’s time
The approach of doing everything by yourself is the biggest enemy of smart work. With a mindset like that, you never focus yourself on creating and delivering the biggest value, but rather your perfectionist mindset only forces you to work harder, not smarter.
If you want to work smart, you have to learn how to delegate. You have to see other people’s time as an infinite resource you can engage, assuming you know how to inspire, motivate, and lead people, or have enough money to pay them well.
Anyway, smart work always includes leveraging other people’s time, whether you work in a startup, big corporation, or non- profit organization.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Use the 4D formula. Delete if it’s not connected to creating, delivering or capturing value. Delegate if someone else can do it. Do it, but only if it’s the task with the biggest impact on your future success. There should be a big filter before anything lands on your to-do list.
- Focus yourself only on the tasks and activities that create the most value.
- If someone else can do it, think about to whom it can be delegated.
- Value your time as the most important thing in the world.
- Think about outsourcing anything that costs less than you can make per hour (laundry, home chores, administration etc.).
13. Leverage other people’s money
Much like you can leverage other people’s time, so too can you leverage other people’s money. There’s so much money in the world, sitting in bank accounts and waiting to be engaged to support outstanding ideas, talented people, and important missions. Around $ 60 trillion exists in the world. You can definitely leverage some of that.
People who work smart go into industries where lots of money is in circulation very early on, so they can leverage that money and create wealth for themselves. Smart workers leverage other people’s money with their innovative ideas, knowledge, or know-how for using money to make more money.
If you want to work smart, you have to be aware that there is too much money in the world, not too little. Smart workers have an abundance mindset. The only thing that can prevent you from leveraging other people’s money are your limiting beliefs - a mindset that puts you back to hard work, without being smart.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Examine your beliefs about money very closely.
- Be aware that there’s more money in the world than ideas for how to make a good return on it.
- Think about whether you’re in the right industry which enables you to create wealth.
- Constantly look for opportunities for how you could leverage other people’s money in an ethical way.
- Don’t work hard for money, let money work hard for you.
14. Try to build a passive or portfolio income source
There are three types of income.
The first one is called active income which means you’re bartering your time for money. The more value you create per hour, the more you get paid.
But still, you only have around 8 to 14 working hours per day, so you’re very limited, and that means you will end up limited in your value creation and trying to work hard for as many hours as possible in order to maximize your income. That isn’t smart, but hard work.
The middle class is limited by trading their time for money.
Smart workers are more focused on passive and portfolio income. That means that you do something one time and then that thing brings money into your pocket every month, whether you work or not.
There are examples such as creating some kind of intellectual property (books, blog posts, YouTube videos etc.), products that people can buy (software, innovation etc.) or being an active investor (real estate, ETFs, businesses etc.).
Smart people don’t want to constantly work for money. They want to create value that can be delivered over a longer period of time. They strategically look for ways they can put themselves in an advantageous position on a certain market.
Being in such a position, be it formally (being a boss, having a very beneficial contract, etc.) or informally (having a certain type of skills, having access to information, etc.), can help you a lot with working smart instead of hard.
Nevertheless, when you look for those kinds of advantageous positions, be sure that you create value, and don’t exploit other people.
Being a smart worker demands a completely different mindset than being a hard worker does. If you want to be a smart worker, think about the following:
- Brainstorm ideas for how you could not only work for money, but create a one-time value that would bring you a small percentage of income every month. You can start with 10 $ per month.
- Think like an investor about everything you do with all of your resources like money, time, etc. Calculate how much you will invest, the risks, the upside potential, and your expectations. Calculate your ROI and think about other alternative investments you could make.
- Closely examine if your mindset is blocking you with the belief that you have to work for money.
15. Smart workers stand on the shoulders of giants
Smart workers have no problem standing on the shoulders of giants. They have no problem in taking off and continuing work based on the good past performance of other people.
The only criteria they have is in which position they can maximize their creation and delivery of value. Everything else is secondary. They have no problem in upgrading, updating, and bringing to the next level the work of other people.
Hard workers not only want to do everything by themselves, they also like to start working on different things from scratch, because they want to take all the possible credit.
Consequently, hard workers are also afraid to share their ideas or work. They don’t see life as a playground, a team sport, a relay run, but rather as them against the world. That’s how you can unnecessarily limit your potential.
Smart workers are different. Smart workers like to share, network, learn from others, and have no ego problem that would prevent them from continuing work that someone else has begun, but they also know when and where to take credit and keep control.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Go for the best knowledge there is and implement it into your own life.
- Look for opportunities where the work that was already done can be leveraged for your value creation.
- Share, play, test, be a team worker and stand on the shoulders of giants.
- You can borrow, recreate, or even steal other ideas if it helps you with value creation.
- Know the critical points where you have to keep control or take credit.
16. Network very actively and ask for help when needed
Smart workers are very well aware that leveraging other people’s time is not the only way to work smarter, you also need help from all kinds of different people that are socially better positioned than you are.
Smart workers know very well that one right person in the phonebook can save you years of hard work. That’s why they become excellent networkers, with sniper-precise targeting when it comes to why they network and with whom, all to maximize their value creation.
Smart workers also have no problem with asking for help. They know that most people love to help others. Thus, they have no problem with asking for help and helping others. And another thing: smart workers are never afraid of rejection, because they trust in themselves. Sooner or later, every No only leads to Yes.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Trust in yourself and be aware that you cannot make it on your own. You need help from others.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Become a really good networker, but network as a sniper, not with everyone who crosses your path.
- Put a preference on monetary transactions, as no money means no value created.
17. Surround yourself with smarter and more successful
You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with. Smart workers are very aware that they have to hang out with people who are on the way to achieving or have already achieved what they want to.
Smart workers want to hang out with people who are smarter than them and who are superior in some way; and then they want to learn as much as possible. Smart people very carefully choose who they spend time with.
Hard workers, on the other hand, are afraid of people who are better than them. They’re afraid to ask their boss to go for a drink. They compensate for their fear by working hard and hoping that someone will notice them, but that’s not how things work.
You have to be proactive, not reactive, if you want to be a smart worker; that also includes very carefully choosing who you will spend time with.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Spend time with people who motivate you and who you can learn from.
- Don’t be afraid to socialize with people who are smarter than you or superior in some way.
- Cut out of your life all the people who are dragging you down or have a bad influence on you.
- Focus on spending quality time with a few people who bring the most value to your life and vice versa.
18. As a smart worker, learn to put yourself first
Smart workers know that putting themselves first also means doing the best for the community. Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you become arrogant and exploit people, it only means that you’re aware (of the fact) that if you want to help others and share it with the community, you need to have something first.
Smart workers are aware that the more power and money they have, the more influence they have on the world and the more they can do for the community as well. The more money you have, the more you can give.
The healthier you look and live, the stronger your influence will be on people who’ll have a good example for how to take care of their health. Smart workers are aware that the most they can do for world peace is to love their family.
Smart workers know that emotional security and strength come from trusting themselves and having deep and loving relationships, and that means putting yourself first.
If you want to be a smart worker:
- Always remember the lesson from airplane safety regulations: in case of emergency, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then you help others, even your own kids.
- Really smart workers are not tyrants and exploiters. They show respect to all people. When you move up in life, it matters how you treat people, because you’ll meet them again on your way down. Smart workers aren’t naïve, and they aren’t soft, but they respect others.
- The more you have, the more you can give. Always be a giver. Draw a line for how much you can give (of your time and money, for example), your minimums and maximums, and then stick to it.
19. Know when to cut your losses
Smart workers definitely spend a lot more time analyzing, thinking, innovating, creating, focusing, optimizing, automating, and leveraging. Still, they too make bad decisions and commit their hard work to the wrong things.
That being said, smart workers realize when they’re digging in the wrong direction, and they cut their losses and move on.
Smart workers know that they will miss some shots and fail sometimes. It’s inevitable, but what’s more important is to cut your losses quickly when such an unfortunate situation happens. Smart workers fail fast.
Hard workers, on the other hand, have a hard time accepting failure. They think that working even harder may solve the problem. But if you’re digging the wrong hole, the only right solution is to stop digging and regroup, not dig even harder, and that’s what hard workers rarely understand.
If you want to work smart:
- Cut your losses when necessary. Fail fast. Don’t think that hard work can solve all problems. It can’t, the same way money can’t.
20. Be agile and adaptable in your agency
Hard workers hate change. They just want to work hard, and when the circumstances change they get lost and angry, especially when most of their work was for nothing. Environments have become too unstable, volatile, and unpredictable to only work hard and hope for the best.
Today you really have to work both smart and hard if you want to be successful. You have to be aware that your surroundings and situations are constantly changing.
Smart workers constantly gather feedback from the environment and change their strategy every hour of every day, if necessary. They adapt and have no emotional attachment to their past hard work or to how they think things should be.
Smart workers don’t live in their fantasy world or wishes, they accept reality as it is (or try to understand it as correctly as possible, if we assume that there’s no objective reality).
Smart workers know that they can’t go against the wind. That’s why they’re constantly observing what’s happening to the wind, and adjust their strategy and hard work to maximize value creation in every situation they encounter. Any situation can be totally different in the next moment because environments are so complex and turbulent, but smart workers have no problem with that because they know how to adapt.
If you want to work smart:
- Be aware that the cards are always being shuffled and your situation will keep changing, which means you also have to keep changing your strategy.
- If you want to stay agile and adaptable, you must learn how to manage your ego and expectations, and you have to trust yourself even more.
21. Look on the bright side of life
One more very important component of smart work is to always have a positive outlook on life, no matter how hard things are.
Much like you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind, you can’t be a smart worker with negative thinking and a pessimistic outlook. There’s a very simple reason why:
When you’re experiencing negative emotions, your creative thinking and horizons contract. You focus all your cognitive power on whining and feeling sorry for yourself. As a consequence, you become blind to opportunities and ideas that would take you a step further.
You start blocking yourself, and every day, you let negative thinking and emotions cloud your judgment and prevent you from seeing all the opportunities. When you have a negative outlook on life, you simply start lagging behind.
There isn’t a single positive thing that can come out of negative thinking. Not for you, not for the people around you, not for society, and not for the world. You may be critical in life, you may strive towards progress and fight for a better world, but you can only do that if you focus all your mental energy on solutions rather than problems.
Want to be a smarter worker?
- List all the opportunities you have, no matter how difficult your situation is. There are always opportunities, you just have to see them. There’s always a step you can make towards a better life and smarter work.
- Ask yourself what the optimal thinking is in any difficult situation.
- List all the ideas for how you could earn extra money.
- Stay positive. Your mind is like a parachute, it only works if it’s open.
22. As a smart worker take care of your community
There’s one more bonus point to mention about smart workers. Many smart workers love to give back to the community, because it’s a win-win situation. Living in an environment that’s more developed, friendlier and more connected is much better than living in a hostile environment.
Smart workers take care of themselves, but they also take care of their environment as much as they can, because they’re very well aware of the fact that their happiness strongly depends on the quality of the environment they function in.
If you can influence your environment in a positive way, it’s definitely a noble thing to do, and on top of that, it also feels extremely good. Real smart workers know that and that’s why they love giving back to the community. Give and you shall receive.
If you want to be a well-rounded smart worker:
- Take care of your environment as much as possible and the environment will take care of you.
- Keep your integrity and be a good person.
Hard work is often an escape from reality, bringing a sense of security and stability in life; But in reality, hard work alone rarely leads to the greatest progress possible in life. You can’t only work hard, you also have to think and work smart. You can’t only be a warrior in life, you also have to grow into a general. Don’t only be a hard worker, be both a hard and a smart worker.