Hard Work is Unreasonable


We live in an odd society.  We worship the successful, yet vilify their path.  Being successful and at the top of your profession takes hard work.  It takes the type of hard work most people call unreasonable and it is unreasonable.

It’s absolutely unreasonable to work as hard as Tiger Woods, or cellist Yo Yo Ma. After each major tournament round Tiger Woods hits as many as a 1000 balls on the range.  That’s after he’s just played a round of golf.  Tiger’s dad made him hit ten, 10ft putts in a row before he could quit.  (I’ve tried this, after 3 hours I gave up).   Michael Phelps spends over 40 hours a week in the pool.  This DOESN’T include working out and his non pool training.  Lawyers looking to become partner can routinely bill 80 hours a week.  It takes unreasonably hard work to be the best.

Hard work has become cliche.  I don’t think most people can truly comprehend the concept of real hard work.  The work required for the lifestyle most people want has too often been labeled unreasonable.  It’s unreasonable to work on the weekends.  It’s unreasonable to work on vacation.  It’s unreasonable to sit at a piano for 8 hours straight.  It’s unreasonable to practice for 12 hours a day 6 days a week.  It’s unreasonable to be on the road 6 days a week for a year.   It’s unreasonable to have to work that hard.   As a society we’ve come to expect it is unreasonable to work hard.  I agree.  It is unreasonable.

However, working unreasonably hard, creates unreasonable salaries and wealth.  Tiger Woods could never spend the amount of money he’s made to date.  His wealth is unreasonable for a person to have but it’s commiserate with his unreasonable work effort.  Reasonable effort gets your a reasonable salary.  No effort gets you no salary.  Substantial effort gets you a substantial salary.  Unreasonable work effort gets you unreasonable reward.

The next time you are faced with an unreasonable work load don’t do it. You’re right it is unreasonable.  Just remember, you get what you work for.