JC Chats: Why sometimes working hard just isn’t enough (+ that’s okay!)

April 9, 2017

I’ve wanted to chat about this for awhile, but it’s one of those topics which is kind of hard to actually get out in words you know? I think there is a bit of a trend in today’s life that we are told that we can do anything, achieve the world and be the best.

That if we just work hard then anything is possible, we can achieve our dreams by just slogging it out for long enough, putting in the hours and the effort. But as I grow older, it becomes ever more transparent that this isn’t the case. That sometimes you can put in the hours and the effort but it just won’t happen. Working hard doesn’t always equal success.

And I’m not just referring to blogging when I’m chatting about this, it applies to anything from work to sports, but blogging is a good example to use. I think there isn’t enough emphasis put on the role of luck and connections in that dream actually coming true.

You may create a piece of content which is bloody excellent whereas you see a piece of content which is really rather average going viral. But actually, that piece just to happened to be seen by a writer who shared it elsewhere and it blew up. Same with other avenues, you may work really hard on a piece of work but it just so happens that the wrong people see it. Just because you didn’t hit that goal, doesn’t mean your hard work wasn’t worth it.

I think this is exacerbated by social media and the internet. Sometimes the things that are popular just blow my mind, when you compare them to other smaller creatives doing exciting and creative things, they just don’t compare. But it just so happened that other person managed to start something at just the right time as it was getting popular, or just happened to feature on the channel of someone with millions of followers.

Not that either of those things are bad, but I think it can be so easy to compare to them and think that if you just worked as hard as they did then it would happen – when that isn’t the case.

This isn’t meant to sound bitter, at the end of the day, this is just a fact of life. But one which I think we don’t think about or talk about enough. We think that if exciting things aren’t happening and things aren’t progressing that we are doing something wrong, that we aren’t working hard enough.

But sometimes you will work hard enough and it’s just how it goes – it doesn’t mean you’re a failure and it doesn’t mean you did a bad job. It’s also really apparent in the start up world – yes some start ups make it, but a huge amount don’t, and I bet all those people are working just as damn hard as the rest. It’s just you only see the ones which make it – therefore if you fail it makes you seem like the odd one out.

And you know when it really comes down to it – that’s okay. It’s okay if you fail, it doesn’t make you a failure. Sometimes the odds are against you, and that’s okay. You are enough! As long as that hard work you’re doing is something you are enjoying then the journey should be worth it irregardless of the outcome.

Going back to the blogging example, in certain times I’ve spent so much time on this blog, and no, I can’t say my content has ever ‘blown up’ but I enjoy the time I spend on it and I wouldn’t give up the fabulous community and experiences I’ve got out of it!

I’d love your opinion on this – what do you think about hard work and its link to being successful?

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