Many times I have heard people advocate hard work alone as the antidote to poverty. I must admit that I am a victim of this notion myself. I have found out that working hard is good but working hard and smart is better. Truck-pushers and “okada” riders are hard working people but most are always struggling to make ends meet. The reason for this may not be too far from the fact that many of them are not smart workers. They are simply hard workers, not talented workers. Talent is in the brain and the price for talent is limitless. Hard-work is more with your muscles while smart-work is with your brain. There is no power on earth that can match the power of the human brain. If you use your brain more than your muscles, you stand a very good chance of succeeding faster in any venture. Muscles may provide daily wages but talent will provide permanent and secure employment. This is the advantage of working smart.
I have always made it a point to state clearly in some of my seminars that “the Muscles will always work hardest while the Brains will always take the credit.” In the history of human existence, brawn has never been superior to brain in their struggle for supremacy. Brain has always managed to come out tops. Remember George Orwell’s extremely famous satire “Animal Farm”? Boxer the horse had all the muscles but no brains. Napoleon the pig had brains but no muscles. Boxer did the work and Napoleon and his fellow pigs took the credit. Towards the end, the pigs even conspired to sell Boxer away to be slaughtered when he became too old and feeble to work. What a cruel fate to befall a dedicated, hardworking and loyal worker.
Today’s business world still operates like “Animal Farm.” You’ve got to be smart to survive. Compare Boxer’s fate to the fate of today’s retrenched and retired workers who are not paid their entitlements. Have you found any difference in their fate? Have you recently read about or heard of “Down-sizing”, “Right-sizing” or just plain “Retrenchment?” No doubt you know what “forced” retirement or “premature” retirement is all about. If you do, take your mind back to “Animal Farm.” What is happening to those prematurely sent out of work is similar to what the pigs did to Boxer the horse. If Boxer had deployed half the energy he deployed working in “Animal Farm” to his own work, his fate would have been different from what he suffered in the hands of the pigs. It is a pity Boxer was not smart enough just as many of today’s “workers” and unemployed people are not smart enough.
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