Business, Random
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My case against “hard work”.

Recently I’m on an extended vacay.

I used to not take extended vacations because I thought they were unproductive and only for “lazy” people. Yet, during this vacation, I read tons and tons of books that I’d always been curious about, including The Book of Change, Romance of the Three Kingdom, Mein Kampf, The Lean Startup, Mastery, etc.

Today’s short post will make a case against “hard work”.

Have you ever considered the idea that championing “hard work” as a virtue might imply one or more of the following, that–

  • you are not productive;
  • you are not smart;
  • you are programmed by the state to work long hours as a relatively cheap and educated labour;
  • you are sacrificing your youth to contribute to the vision of another;
  • you are being programmed to seek the approval of the person who is paying you.


The corollary of “hard work” is “multitasking”, and trying to do too many things at one time. A good multitasker for example, does one or more of the following:

  • They outsource most of their work. Therefore, what they truly do is coordination;
  • They are sort of organized and consistently somewhat stressed;
  • They see the bigger picture but not details.

Don’t get me wrong–I am a dilligent person. But after writing the above, I would say that it makes sense only to be dilligent when you are positioned well.

That’s right: A lazy person with good positioning is better off than a hard working person without.

The problem with people who burn out is not that they are not hardworking enough, but because they don’t have a clearly defined position.

What is a clearly defined position? It is:

  • Intrinstic;
  • Easy;
  • Clear;
  • Verifiable.

Therefore, we should champion good positioning with minimal effort instead of “hard work”. Good positioning means razor-sharp focus and not wanting to do it all.

Just take a moment to chew on it.

This entry was posted in: Business, Random


Hi! This is Wan Wei and some affectionately call me WW. As a naturally curious person, I have interviewed over 100 inspiring politicians, C-level executives, entrepreneurs and influencers globally! Also Editor in Chief at IKIGUIDE (, Asia's first portal on personal branding.

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