Forget Hard Work

 

Adulthood has hit me with the eponymous ‘Adulthood Scam’, within which lie various children and grandchildren scams; the friendship scam, the relationship scam, the work scam, the food scam, the independence scam, the time scam – you get my drift. Adulthood is so scamdalous, I could type enough ‘scams’ in this post to ensure you go cross-eyed with a  blurry duplicated vision of the word ‘scam’.

Perhaps the most humbling and frustrating of these scams is the hard work scam. You know the hard work scam? the one that got you believing that if you work hard enough, it’ll work out? Lol. Lies. Scam.

The idea that hard work will eventually lead to success is to play God. For our pre-adult selves, it’s a myth told to simplify a very complex life; to linearise the very non-linear rules of the universe. In the very popular Paulo Coelho book; The Alchemist, there’s a quote which says ‘When you want something, the whole universe conspires to make it happen‘. Is this true? I don’t know. Maybe I’m a cynic. According to Maya Angelou, ‘There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing‘. I hope I’m not a cynic. 

Now you might think of my point as a technicality, where maybe in some cases hard work might not yield the intended results because it was aimed at the wrong thing, not used smartly or whatever other technicality you might conjure up. No. I mean hard work in its purest most useful form is not a magic formula. Hard work done and applied right does not always give positive results because it just doesn’t. If this is a strange concept, then allow me to serve you a starter before you begin with the main dish of adulthood. 

Hard work is like money. For whatever reason, some people have ‘it’ more than others. ‘Say what?’, you might think; but it’s true. People like to make out like some people work hard and others don’t. That these ‘others’ are lazy. True. Maybe. BUT, hard work is a muscle and so back to my initial analogy, some have it more than others because they’ve honed and developed it for the longest time and it’s worked. It’s stayed true. It’s delivered. The magic formula. It’s worked for every major facet of their lives. So they rely on it. Like others rely on money. Money is good but it doesn’t always work. If someone’s terminally ill, money might not work. It’s the same as hard work. It doesn’t always work. So don’t rest on your laurels hard work.

“These blows are necessary”.

Yesterday,  I was reeling from something painful. I had tried very hard. I had given it my all. Done all I could do. Given my time, money and effort and all for what? So I sulked, moped, frowned and sulked again. Then my uncle gave me a very needed encouraging speech and after he had managed to move me to tears and laughter at the same time (God, I love that guy) he said, “These blows are necessary”. 

So here’s the silver lining. When hard work fails; which it will, unless you’re a human unicorn; be pre-warned, be humbled and be strengthened in the knowledge that sometimes these blows are necessary. In the moment of failure, you might find yourself asking ‘Why *Insert situation in which hard work failed you* ?’. Well, I like the way my uncle puts it:

“It’s just one of those quirky things”.

Words: Jennifer
Photo: Gratisography

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