You’re so ambitious. You have your eyes on success. But like every other person you’ve got a lofty hurdle before you. Which you must scale to reach the hierarchical ladder and begin climbing. Man, you so badly want to get to the very top.

Well, if that’s you, then you can easily confuse what hard work is with what it isn’t.

Get me right. Ambitions are legitimate as long as they do not lock horns with any provisions of the constitution. And hoping that your ambitions can be attained with hard work is very human and rational. The grey area and my concern is what exactly you mean by hard work.

Where you engage in inimical practices in the name of hard work, your wellbeing will be subjected to harshness and success may slip through your fingers just as you thought you’ve got it in your own hands.

Since your ultimate goal is success, there should therefore be no such thing as hard work that subverts your wellbeing.

Let’s go this way. What is hard work, what’s not?

Deprivations or diligence?

Most of the time, many people wrongly believe that they have to deprive themselves of rest, sleep and even vacation in order to be truly hardworking. But the simple truth is that they are wrong. Sleep deprivation, and other debilitating deprivations, is inimical to your well-being.

What you need is diligence.

And with diligence, you will do your work efficiently and still have enough time and space to rest, sleep well and go on holidays. Your body needs all of these. Your body needs to be unwound.

As Interhome puts it, “Spend a day on the beach and let all your cares drift away … enjoy a relaxing few weeks with family and friends, soaking up the sun and enjoying the delight of golden sandy beaches.”

You can be sure of higher productivity when you’re back from these holidays.

Competition or collaboration?

If your definititon of hard work includes a panging sense of you “must outstrip them all”, it means you’ve got it wrong. You can’t all alone move the company to the next level, or do any form of business. You need other people. In fact, competitions in places of work breed rifts and animosity.

This in turn affects your state of mind negatively. You’ll discover some people’s presence unsettles you.

Collaboration, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity of comparing notes with other professionals and ultimately getting better. Spirit of collaboration makes your more forgiving and less prone to heart diseases.

Remember, none of us is as smart as all of us together. And if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go as a team. Let me assure you, the kind of synergy you will form will earn all of you involved success on a platter of gold.

Exertion or dedication?

Brains, and not brawn, get the work done. This is the 21st century and its characteristically advanced science and technology. Exerting yourself doesn’t have a place in the scheme of things. The best it does is to burn you out.

Burnout is real.

And it more often than not stems from stress. Then you feel empty from within. All courtesy of exertion.

Exertion denies you of a lot of things, the most prominent of them being rest of mind.

Dedication is the answer.

But when you’re dedicated, you work diligently, thoroughly and conscientiously.  

Dedication to your work is the in-thing. Just try it.