A lot of people talk about hard work as the most important factor for success in life.
I must disagree.
Hard work is a catalyst. It is not the answer to success.
They all say work hard.
I have heard stories from friends and strangers of how hard they worked in their life, and how far they have come. Yes some of them have really fought hard and come to a good position. One thing that strikes me is how linear their success has been though.
They take the path from productive work, to production boss, to boss of production bosses. To clarify my views: There is nothing wrong with working with "production". If it is a conscious choice it's perfect.
Work hard on other peoples ideas?
Hard work makes you focus. Focus is good, but it also removes reflection. Reflection = critical part of the meta game. If all you do is work hard, you can never advance beyond what others have planned for you, cause you will always work on their ideas and under their control.
I am a hard worker, at least I can be, cause that is how I was raised. But I see now, that the greatest leaps in my career have not come from hard work, but rather when I stopped working hard, had a vacation or similar off-time, and had the time to explore, become inspired and think things through thoroughly. Set yourself free by giving yourself time to review your work and life. Come up with new ideas. Present them. Surprise people.That is what I call the meta-game. The time where you think about your life and work. Where ideas flow freely and undisturbed from daily routines.
Of course you have to have an open and curious mind for that to really benefit you. But that is also how I see the leaders of tomorrow. Open minded and curious. Creative and daring.
Now just relax?
I believe this meta game is worth more than the extra hours so many people pull to advance in their work life. I am not saying you only need 4 hours of work every day. But for those who spend 10+ hours on work every day, dedicating 2-3 of those hours to the meta-game will be a great long term investment.