Is hard work really worth it

Hard work no thanks! Why lazy people are smart, successful, and happy

To be called lazy would be an insult to most people. If you want to achieve something in life, you have to work hard. Laziness is punished by professional failure. At least that is what the beliefs that you and many other people have come along with in your childhood are. Because this is how our society works: hard work, discipline and determination are the highest virtues. You are the key to success. That's wrong, claims a Harvard professor. Studies prove that intelligent people are lazy. And if you are lazy, you will be successful.

1. Is the new credo: Put your feet up and do nothing?
2. He who is smart is hardworking. Who is wiser is lazy.
3. Intelligence and laziness are related - but how?
4. So intelligence makes you lazy and laziness makes you successful?
5. Harvard Professor Affirms: Hard work and success are not mutually exclusive
6. Only those who are lazy can be happy - and successful

Is the new credo: Put your feet up and do nothing?

It almost sounds too good to be true: Laziness is supposed to make you successful. So what are you working overtime for, becoming hectic or exerting yourself on a project? Do you have to go to work at all? If laziness supposedly makes you successful, why don't you just snuggle up on the sofa at home and wait for success to knock on the door? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Yes, you should be lazy, put your feet up and do nothing. But of course not always. Because 15-hour days and constant time pressure do not make you successful in the long run, they make you sick. That much should be clear to our society by now.

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The result: burnout, depression or stress-related physical illnesses. That you can achieve anything through hard work and that this is guaranteed to be rewarded with success is a common mistake.

In most cases, hard work will bring you nothing in the long run but frustration, illness, and regret that you did not spend your precious lifetime more meaningfully.

It is a nasty mistake in thinking that is stuck in our German culture. Perhaps because it dates back to the post-war period, when our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents had lost everything and they had no choice but to work hard - better said, to fight for their survival. And yes, their diligence has been crowned with success. The economic country Germany owes its prosperity to them. Perhaps it is also because Germans are told in their childhood days that with diligence, discipline and hard work they could achieve anything.

He who is smart is hardworking. Who is wiser is lazy.

It is precisely these virtues that make the German workforce so popular around the world. Because in few other cultures hard work, discipline, sense of responsibility, reliability, punctuality & Co are as deeply rooted as in ours. But it is precisely these other countries that are doing much worse than we are. Greece and Spain are the most prominent examples of this. So, on the whole, we are very clever. We are hardworking and live in prosperity. Under the microscope, however, this prosperity - this "happiness of the whole" - is based on the misfortune of numerous individuals. Those people who have worked their lives hard only to get sick at some point, maybe even end up with nothing but death from overwork. "Karoshi" is the name of the phenomenon in Japan.

Reading tip: "Karoshi - first work, then death"

And then there are the free riders - the "social parasites", as they are popularly known - who have recognized the advantages of German prosperity and are enjoying themselves at the expense of the discipline and hard work of others. Not that stupid, is it? However, this will not make you successful and rich in the long run either. At this point your penny should have dropped: Not everyone who is hardworking is smart. Instead, doesn't laziness have something to do with true intelligence? Yes, says a recent study from Florida Gulf Coast University: The researchers found that intelligent people spend more time doing nothing than those with lower IQs.

Intelligence and laziness are related - but how?

As part of their study, the scientists observed that subjects with a higher IQ recorded more frequent and longer periods of rest in everyday life than their comparison group. They provide the explanation directly in their study results:

Smarter people like to indulge their thoughts a lot. They discuss complicated issues, practice self-reflection or visualize their wishes - for example in the form of daydreams.

On the other hand, those who have a lower intelligence quotient seem to need more external stimulation, for example through mental or physical activity, in order not to be bored. In extreme cases, those affected even get into a kind of job addiction.

So intelligence makes you lazy and laziness makes you successful?

The results of the study allow us to conclude: Yes, intelligent people are actually more lazy than their less intelligent colleagues. But that doesn't mean that they suddenly stop showing up at work and mutate into social parasites. On the contrary: With more frequent and longer periods of rest, more intelligent people automatically allocate their energy resources more sustainably. You can relax while doing nothing and then perform at your best afterwards. In contrast to their "always-stressed-15-hour-working-day colleagues", they remain healthier, more productive and of course more successful in the long run. No matter what your IQ is: So from now on you too should put your feet up with a clear conscience and succumb to idleness. Linger in your thoughts and daydreams or practice meditation - the supreme discipline in doing nothing.

Reading tip: "Inner Peace: How Meditation Affects Professional Success"

Harvard professor confirms: hard work and success are not mutually dependent

Shawn Achor, happiness researcher and Harvard professor, is also certain that hard work and success have relatively little to do with each other. He confirms the results of the study and goes even further: Hard work even stands in the way of success, in his opinion. When asked what makes a person happy, he stumbled upon the success factor by chance. His research showed that happiness and success for a person are directly related. But different than you might think:

Most people assume that hard work will make them successful, and success will make them happy. The opposite is true: Those who work less are happier, and those who are happier are automatically more successful.

According to Achor, it is happiness that puts the brain in a positive state and thus prompts top performance in terms of intelligence, productivity, problem-solving skills, creativity and more. In a nutshell: If you're happier, you automatically work “harder” - and because it's completely automatic, you don't even notice the hard work. This is exactly why it feels to you as if the reward comes almost by itself. Instead, many people doggedly chase after professional success, always looking for happiness. But once one goal has been achieved, the focus is on the next. There is simply no time for happiness. Unless you take this one.

Only those who are lazy can be happy - and successful

At this point we come full circle: If you are lazy every now and then, you will remain productive both physically and mentally. You give yourself the chance to be happy and thereby achieve greater success in your job. You can only be happy about this if you take the time to enjoy your success by being lazy. Don't get us wrong: your chances of achieving success through hard work are good. However, happiness often stays away and your health begins to suffer. Your chances of becoming successful and above all happy through laziness are therefore much better. So practice doing nothing, gratitude and mindfulness every now and then.

Be aware of even small successes day after day and allow yourself enough time to enjoy them properly. A small but nice little helper is the so-called success diary.

Reading tip: "Success diary: little helper with a big impact"

You will see: Soon you too will be lazy, happier and more successful - and you are one of those people to whom all the good things in life supposedly “just fly to you” with a radiant smile. You just have to let it happen and break free of the outdated thought patterns from your childhood.

What is your experience of being lazy? Is everything suddenly easier for you too when you put your feet up every now and then with a clear conscience? What successes have you had since rethinking your way of thinking? Do you feel happier? And what do you think is the line between healthy and unhealthy laziness? We look forward to your contributions and discussions in the comments!

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