Why Working Hard Will Not Make You Successful In Life

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“Just work hard, pay bills and you´re gonna be happy and successful for the rest of your life.”

Do you think, this is true anymore?

I don´t. And in this article I show you, why is that.

Is Working Hard Necessary?

Absolutely. This is something, I want to say at the beginning. I am all for the hard work. I think working hard is one of the necessities to accomplish anything in life.

My favorite quote is from Charlie Munger, who says…

“To get what you want, you have to deserve what you want. The world is not yet a crazy enough place to reward a whole bunch of undeserving people.”

So, don´t get me wrong, I am pro hard work. What I mean, is that hard working only doesn´t guarantee you success in life.

And here´s why…

Hard Work Is Not Enough

I once heard a story about one family – mom, a son without a father (who passed out). I think it was in the U.S., but I am sure you also know someone like that.

This mom worked 2 jobs. She has a day job and a night job, just to provide education for her son. She was working 18 hours a day. Every day. But, sadly, she wasn´t earning enough and they were pretty poor.

What would you say to this mom? Could you come to her and say…

“You Need To Work Harder!”

I am sure, you don´t. How much harder can this woman work? It´s not even possible. I don´t believe she can work any harder.

And, if you were too bold, and you take the courage to say that to this woman, I wouldn´t want to watch, what happens. I think, she would be infuriated and angry at you.

She works 2 jobs she hates, without proper pay and especially, she is not able to provide a life she wants for her son.

Working Harder Is Not A Solution

Firstly, as I already wrote, it´s not even possible to work harder. And secondly, it´s not a solution, also.

Equation of success consists of 2 parts:

Work Hard + Work Smart = Success

One can not be without the other. If you work hard, and you´re not working smart, you end up like a mom from our example.

And when you work smart, and you´re not working hard, you will never get anything done. Simply because, without proper work and effort, nothing will ever be created.

What Is Working Smart?

Working smart is what´s missing in the life of millions of people who try to reach their goals. It´s the idea of learning from other people´s mistakes.

It´s the habit of improving and becoming better every single day.

When you work so hard and you´re not earning enough money, you need to start working smart also. Try to acquire a new skill, try to find out another way to make money, and lastly, try to make as little mistakes as you can.

I know, the internet is full of the opposite advice. Mistakes are good. You learn from mistakes. Do as many mistakes as you can.

But, let me clarified this.

You Are Not Suppose To Make A Lot Of Mistakes

Warren Buffet said:

“It´s good to learn from your mistakes. It´s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

And that´s the point.

You need to eliminate as many mistakes as you possibly can.

Eliminating mistakes can be accomplished only by learning from other people’s mistakes, so you know exactly what you should do and what you should definitely avoid to even try.

A Lesson From One Of The Most Influential Person Of 20th Century

One of the wealthiest and most successful people in history was Sam Walton – founder of Walmart.

Not many people know that before he started Walmart, he had a small, yet pretty successful store.

He was making 5 figures a month with it. But, he made a mistake. He didn´t read his lease carefully, so a person who leased him spaces for his store took advantage of him and take his business.

Although he was devastated, he takes that as a lesson. He learned from it and move on. From this time, Sam Walton read every lease at least a three times.

The reason why I am saying this is that you don´t have to wait until you made a horrible mistake that costs you time and money.

Now, when you know this happened to one of the most successful people in history, you become much more careful, when you read your leases.

In other words… You learn from someone else´s mistake and you save yourself time, energy and money.

And that´s exactly what it means to work smart. The more you do that, the faster you should reach your goals.

Two Requirements Of Success

As I already wrote, for success there are two requirements:

Working Hard + Working Smart.

One can not live without the other. Even though you can become successful with only one of these, my goal is to show you the easiest and safest way.

So, if your goal is to become successful in any area of your life, you absolutely need to do the work, but also, eliminate mistakes, so you don´t waste so much time, energy and money.

Follow this and I am sure your path toward your goals is gonna be:

  • much easier,
  • much faster,
  • and less expensive.


Even though hard work is absolutely necessary for success in anything you want from life, it´s not enough.

In this article, I tried to explain why, and I wanted to show you a better, easier and safer way. Way, that can save you energy, time and money.

Peter Drucker in his book Managing Oneself said:

“Survival machines (humans), who can simulate the future are one jump ahead of survival machines who can only learn by over trial and error.

The problem with vertical is that it takes time and energy. The problem with over error is that it´s often fatal.

Simulating the future (learning) is both, easier and safer.”

If you found this article helpful, please comment below, what was the biggest mistake, you could avoid?

And also, for more principles from the most successful people in the world like that, check out the 67 Steps here (where I found this life-changing principle, too).

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My name is Patrik. I live in Slovakia and I am owner of dayprov.com. Dayprov is about Everyday improvements in our lives. You will find here tips about success, motivation, personal development and anything you want. Your recommendations for new interesting blog posts you would like to read about send to patrik@dayprov.com.

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