Work Smarter and Harder

The first time I recall hearing the phrase "Work smarter, not harder" was in a senior level marketing class in college. A local business owner had come in to talk about how he had become successful in his respective business in town. During his talk, he proclaimed that one of the main reasons for his success was a seemly simple revelation he had after his wife had observed him struggling thorough a business issue. As only a wife could do, she gently urged him to "Work smarter, honey, not harder". Naw Duh, so easy, right? Presto, after realizing that he just needed to work smarter, not harder, he could build a successful business. 

At the time, it sounded smart, even philosophical. Worketh smarter and not harder and ye shall be rewarded with riches and ease. Gosh, who wouldn't want that? After all, as a 22 year old near college graduate, I wanted to have fun! I didn't want to have to drudge away in hard work. According to this new revelation, smart people can just out-think hard work. I'm smart. Pshh. Count me in! I wrote it down, committed it to memory, and planned to apply it as needed in both life and work. 

Now, nearly 10 years after graduation, I can say one thing for certain: I was misguided. Bigly.

Like any of the best lies, "Work Smarter, Not Harder" contains partial truth. You want to work smart. It is wise for someone to work "smart". Anyone can see that mowing a lawn with a lawnmower is inherently smarter than mowing a lawn with a pair of scissors. So yes, work smart, for the love of God, work as smart as you can. But the saying continues. "Work Smarter Not...". The word "not" implies don't. Don't do this. Do not work harder. It implies that working hard comes at the expense of working smart. Why would anyone work hard when they can just work smart? 

Did you spot the lie? Working smart does not automatically cancel out any "hard" work. Smart work and hard work are not mutually exclusive. In fact, in many instances, they are the EXACT SAME THING.

For further clarification, let's look back to the lawn mowing analogy. Mowing the grass with a pair of scissors is definitely less smart and substantially harder than mowing with a lawn mower. No one will argue that. But you still have to work hard to mow the lawn with a lawn mower. Just ask someone who owns a lawn business or someone mowing in 100 degree weather. Hard work is not excluded from that equation. 

Another question to consider is this. Why has hard work gotten a bad rap? Why do people have an aversion to doing work that is seemingly difficult in nature? I am not sure I can answer that, but I can say one thing for sure. 

Hard work is GOOD. 

Like so good. And so important. You know this. You work hard on something, possibly strain to finish it, but when you do, what happens? You feel good. you feel accomplished. You get a boost of self confidence, a sense that you can overcome. It builds character, and better yet, helps you build a healthy view of yourself. It gives you dignity. And dignity, brother, is good.  

Just ask someone who has been out of a job for a period of time. You stop working, and everything else seems to get out of whack. Your energy level drops, your mood darkens, and your wits dull. Hard work is not only good, it is necessary for a healthy life 

So I beg of you, don't be fooled by some pithy saying. Try your damnedest to work "smart" and never, never stop working hard. 

Remember. "Work Smarter AND Harder"

Best Places to Eat in Fort Worth : May 2016 Edition

Central Market - Fort Worth

Wine-Fort-Worth

Yes. One of the best places to eat in Fort Worth is not quite a restaurant at all. It is a grocery store that doubles as a restaurant. Those not familiar with the Central Market may turn up their nose and look elsewhere for another eatery advocate, but I assure you, it's one of the better places to grab a quick, delicious, and relatively cheap meal. 

Have a family? Need to place to take the kids on a Friday night? Central Market. Have a date? Low on cash? Central Market. Want to sample the best of craft beers? Central Market. Central Market.  Are you catching my drift? Central Market is a one stop shop for anything your taste buds could ask for. 

My personal recommendation? Head up there on a Friday or Saturday evening with friends, family or significant other, grab some edible delectables in the store, purchase a the coldest 6 pack of light beer you can find, then plant yourself within earshot of the band (yes, they usually have a band) and enjoy life. I can't think of anything else more refreshing to do on a warm (soon to be hot) Texas summer night. 

**"Best Places to Eat in Fort Worth" is a monthly series on the best places to eat in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. Establishments are judged not only on food, but also value, atmosphere, and service.