Does hard work pay off?

Working hard

“Work hard or you’ll end up a failure”, a mom teaches her son. “Work hard or you won’t get paid”, a boss yells at his employee.

I should work hard! but why?

Is it enough? Are we only born on this earth to work our asses off and die? I don’t think so. If working hard was enough, labor would be a millionaire. Beggars would be rich and vice-versa.

Wait. Just stop right there. I’m not saying slacking off will help either. So what am I trying to say? Read and find out.

It’s generally a misconception that working hard will always pay off. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Along with hard work, there are many other factors that define your success. Luck, for example. Some also say that if you are not working smartly, then no matter how much you work, it’s useless.

I’m just here to talk only about this general idea that goes into our society. About hard-work paying off and all that. We won’t jump into other things like working smart or luck, today, in this shot.

Ever gambled? Yes, you did. The day you started working towards something, be it your education, career,… and whatnot, you gambled.

What’s at stake in this gamble?

– Hard Work.

In this game called life, we are all gambling our work in order to move forward. Trying to compete with each other blindly just running the human race.

Because hard work won’t always pay off. There. I said it. Hurts, I know. But it is what it is. If you don’t have a good memory, no matter how much you study, you won’t score good marks. If your job is to collect garbage and sell it, no matter how much you try, there’s a limit on what you earn.

Now, the question is….

Why work hard then?

Let me tell you why.

Because there is no other choice. In order to achieve something, you have to work hard. You achieving it is not guaranteed, but the ‘hard work’ in the process is.

When you play a game of dice, you roll the dice irrespective of what number pops up. This is nature. This is life. You might get a one or a six, but you’ll still roll the dice. Why? Because the game asks you to.

Similar is the game of life. It asks us to play, to roll the dice, irrespective of the results. That’s the point of being human and what it means to be alive. The game of life comes with a twist though. Unlike most games, it’s rules are everchanging. Scary, right? I know.

You can see this as a luxury or as a curse. But these everchanging rules make life a stage for everyone to play upon. Beggar to rich. Illiterate to a doctor. Everyone’s given a chance to participate.

Hard work might or might not pay off. But the ‘work’ always does.

– by Shan

This is something I came up with. Remove hard from hard work and you are left with just work.

How does ‘work’ pay off then?

See, when you are working towards something, be it anything you want to achieve, you put your mind and body through it. Working hard or not, doesn’t matter now. What matters is that you are working.

In between this process of ‘working’, your mind will learn and your body will develop muscle memory.

Maybe your target was to get into a good college but you ended up in a decent one. Your efforts didn’t pay off, due to one reason or another. But, the work you put up with trying to get that college will stay with you till your last breath as a learning experience. I’m not good at examples I guess. You’ll have to make do with these. Sorry “P

Let’s try another example.

Suppose you are in a team sport. Cricket, football, anything like that. Your team needs to qualify for a tournament and in order to do so, you have to win 3 matches. Now, you might win 3 matches or even 2. The reasons can be many. You might or might not qualify.

But to play those 3 matches, you practiced. This would have made you a better player. I mean if you add something to anything, the result will be always greater obviously. Similarly, even when you do a tiny bit of work it adds to your knowledge and experience.

This is the best I can do. If you didn’t understand even with this example, let me know in the comments. I’ll think of a better one.

In short I’m trying to say that we are all gambling our work in this game called life. We win some, we lose some. But this does not and should not change the fact that we have to work in order to achieve something.