Working Hard vs. Striving

Urgency and diligence are the foundation of hustle. If you want to succeed in your life and work, you will need to work very, very hard and in a focused way. However, there’s a difference between hard work and desperate work. Hard work is sourced in intent and is focused and resourced. Desperate work expends a lot of energy but is unfocused and often unproductive.

How can you know the difference?

►Hard work is targeted, whereas desperate work flails.

►Hard work has a clear end point, whereas desperate work feels never-ending.

►Hard work is from a position of strength, whereas desperate work feels like you’re always behind.

►Hard work feels good, whereas desperate work feels empty.

►Hard work has a plan, whereas desperate work is reactive to urgency.

►Hard work is measured in intervals of progress, whereas desperate work is measured by how much it temporarily relieves your anxiety.

►Hard work pursues the right idea, whereas desperate work latches on to the first available idea.

Of course, you must work hard. But be mindful of the subtle differences between working hard and working out of desperation. When you feel desperate, you don’t think clearly, and you feel too anxious to take the necessary time to play with your thoughts and experiment with ideas.

Work with diligence and urgency, but don’t work desperately.


Can you think of a time when you worked desperately rather than hard? What was it like?

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