Work Hard. Not Just Smart

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If you take an unbiased look at all the successful men, you will find out that those who are the most successful among them are extremely hard workers. It's just unfortunate that most of us in Nigeria fix our attention on those who claim to work for 4 hours a week or preach retirement at age 40 or make all their money from book sales and seminars. The people who are most popular to us are not that that much popular in their home country. We are obsessed with the "work smart not hard" mantra.

There are a lot of things wrong with that mantra, especially for us in Nigeria. We live in a country where we produce almost none of the things we consume. We are already a not very hardworking bunch of people when compared to other non African countries. We are mostly spiritual and would rather seek a spiritual solution to our problems than work tirelessly at fixing them manually. Almost everyone is looking for an easier way to make the same money and then make some more. We have a culture that praises a man getting more for less (we call him favoured) than getting the worth of his efforts. So we are already tuned, by culture and nuture, to not kill ourselves over work unlike the American industrialists and the Japanese Executives. Or even the Chinese workers. And that is why we would rather seek easy opportunities than going after tough opportunities or being innovative.

When we value getting more for less than getting our effort's worth we would avoid taking the kind of risks that helped build the other countries we are all trying to spend vacation in. If no one was working tirelessly and all day at an unknown technology we wouldn't have the airplanes, the car, the iPhones we cling to and those modern convenience that we would rather spend time with than with our work. If we are not willing to have a high goal and give it all the effort and failures it requires but would rather choose a principle of "work smart not hard" then we will keep getting the abysmal results we have, just with less effort. We won't innovate anything useful for the world. We won't build the entrepreneurially thriving economy we admire in the other countries and we will keep buying more soft skills books than the hard skills ones we most need.

I believe that what we most need in Nigeria is an attitude that gives dignity to labour. We need to value hard work and not just an easy life. We need to have a system to that help the hard worker. A system to exposes the already hard working farmer to new sophisticated modern ways of farming and tools. We need a system that teaches the artisans how to use the new technologies to get greater work done. We need a system that praises the rich worker more than the rich preacher. We need a system that cares more about the working men and not the talking men. We need people who work hard and work smart. Not men who just want to tune down their work efforts. And not a system that gives no dignity to the farmers, the artisans, the very hard workers and would rather have them hope for an easier life outside their work or a favour from somewhere in form of employment as a driver to a billionaire. 


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