In this week’s installment of “Sayings That Suck”,

(Yes, this is the first week I’m doing this, but I might make it a thing if the internet keeps up its nonsense.)

Let’s have a look at this saying:

“Work smarter, not harder.”

AGH, this one really grinds my gears —

It circulates the internet in various forms, like my personal favorite:

“Why work hard when you can work smart?”


Before I go off, let me be honest with you.

There’s actually truth in this saying.

I know, I know — give me a chance to explain!

The foundation of most “work smarter” advice is the Pareto principle (aka the “80/20 rule”) that states:

80% of your results come from 20% of your work

I’ll be clear. This principle is not bulletproof,

But it does hold true in many fields.

So then what’s my beef with this saying?

See, society’s comfort culture (BOOOOO!) got a hold of “working smarter” and did to it what it does best…

Softened it with their go-to “comfort + shortcut + lie” treatment

To them, it works like this:

Replace 80% of your work with leisure (the comfort)

Focus on the remaining 20% of your work (the shortcuts)

Enjoy your cruise to success city in first-class (the lie)

Nothing could be further from the truth…

So I’m going to set the record straight right here:

Working smart requires experience.

Experience requires teachers.

“Life” is not inherently a teacher…

Working hard IN your life and ON your life introduces you to your teachers:






You get it.

The beautiful thing is:

The harder you work, the more hard work teaches you —

And the smarter you get!

It’s your sweat (figurative and literal) that makes you smart.

So instead of “work smarter, not harder”, let’s start saying:

“Work harder, get smarter.”

Alright, enough of what I think —

I want to hear your thoughts!

Drop a comment on today’s post and I’ll reply to you. (Solid comments from The Few already!)

To defending hard work at all costs!

Joey Bowen