Here’s a brilliant quote by Joseph Tussman (a philosophy professor):
What the pupil must learn, if he learns anything at all, is that the world will do most of the work for you, provided you cooperate with it by identifying how it really works and aligning with those realities. If we do not let the world teach us, it teaches us a lesson.
Experience has taught me that this is very true, but I frequently have to remind myself of this reality. Working hard to be successful might have worked well at some past point in time, but it’s not enough nowadays.
What we need to do is work smarter not harder. By cultivating awareness of how things work and how people behave, we are able to identify points of leverage that enable us to exert effort in the right places and thus achieve exponential results.