We should all choose to work hard. When we do, we disrupt comfort and often create value that others who choose an easier path simply cannot access. However, there is a difference between hard work and striving. There is a point at which additional effort isn’t really helpful.
To work hard means to do the difficult thing in order to achieve a good result. To strive means to over-extend yourself to the point that you experience diminished return on your effort.
To work hard means to do now what others would choose to put off to later. To strive means to work desperately out of fear that others will overtake you.
It’s a subtle, but important difference. Hard workers know when to take a break because they see that their yield is decreasing. Strivers work desperately out of fear that their hard work won’t be sufficient.
When you strive, you impede creative thought. A striving mentality is one of survival, not abundance, whereas hard work recognizes that the season of harvest requires workers for the field. If you wish to be prolific, brilliant, and healthy, you must learn to recognize the difference.
Work hard, but don’t strive. Striving is a mindset of desperation, and will make you less effective.
Question: Is there an area of life and work where you are striving rather than working hard?