Are you a hard worker or smart worker?

I would like to share a story from The New York Times bestselling author and medical surgeon, Don Miguel Ruiz.
One man wanted to free himself from his suffering and pain so he went to his mentor, a Guru, for help.
He asked, “Guru, if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me to remove my suffering and pain?”
The Guru looked at him and replied, “If you meditate four hours a day, probably, you will remove your suffering and pain in ten years.”
Bringing his hard working mentality, the man said, “ Oh, Guru, what if I meditate eight hours a day, how long will it take me to remove my suffering and pain?”
Guru looked at him and said, “If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will remove your suffering and pain in twenty years.”
“But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?” the man asked again.
Guru replied, “You are not here to sacrifice your joy, your family, your relationship, and your life.
You are here to live freely, to be happy, and to love the way you are; then only you will be free from suffering and pain.

The core lesson I got: If you can do your best in two hours, but you spend eight hours instead, you only grow tired and frustrated, miss the whole point of love and life, and you won’t enjoy your life.
Don’t be that person.
Do your best and then only you can live freely, you can love, and be happy.

This is the key difference between hard worker and smart worker.

Everything is moving faster than ever.
We are living in nanoseconds now, not in days, weeks or months.
Fast progress in technology and better understanding of the human body and mind has changed the way we think and work in the present society.
If only hard work is the weapon to succeed then coal miners, farmers, and construction workers would be the most successful people in the world.
Many hard working people in many areas are short of fame, recognition, and status because they completely forget or ignore to work smartly.

I have read that many smart people do meditation regularly but hard working people don’t get time to do meditation, because they are too busy and don’t have time to do so.
Regular meditation is a key tool for smart work because it is the only way to make our brain healthy.
Overall exercise makes our body healthy but meditation does the same for the brain.
Needless to say, today’s world is run by the brain, especially the healthy brain.
I shared one of my colleagues that Tony Robbins does one to two hour mediation everyday.
She immediately replied, “Oh whoa, I wish I had such free time. I don’t have free time, I’m always on schedule and very busy.”

After knowing the fact that smart working people bring creativity by meditation and hard working people just don’t get time for meditation, I also decided to learn this mind exercise habit.

I arranged for meditation class twice a week, an hour a session.

In my first class, my meditation instructor said, “Sit down in a cross-legged position on the floor and close your eyes for sixty seconds.”
I obeyed his instruction and did the same.
I asked, “What should I do after closing my eyes?”
He replied, “Nothing, just relax, remain calm.”
Probably after ten seconds I thought that meditation is the most annoying and disturbing thing ever I am learning in my life.
After I closed my eyes, innumerable things came to my mind: my stove at home, did I turn it off?
My office assignment which I haven’t finished yet, the deadline is looming.
My sister in Cincinnati is sick, I have to visit her.
I shouldn’t be late for tonight’s dinner with my fiance.
These are only some glimpses of so many other things that came in my mind.
Oh my god, how do people do mediation for hours and hours?

After sixty seconds, my instructor said, “How did you feel?”
I said, “Terrible, I was inside my mental jail, in sixty seconds with my closed eyes I recall more things than in a month with my open eyes.”
My teacher said, “You just started your mental motion, you should learn continuously to be in motion until some force stops you and you become mentally stationary.”
“Motion doesn’t give you results, you get results only when you finish motion”, he added.
Many smart people spend time on meditation to make their mind empty so that they can plant whatever they want.
Meditation makes their empty mind a more fertile ground where they can plant the seeds of better ideas, supreme thoughts, and positive vibrations.
Most importantly, meditation grows the seeds of love, affection, and care in mind.

There is a huge difference between smart-working people and hard working people in many aspects.
Consistent regular meditation is just one of many of those tools.
Smart working people are balanced people, they know the key points to get work done, they focus a lot on their health, diet, and relationship.
Quite amazingly, they spend a lot of time alone.

They spend a lot of time thinking and wandering.

Smart working people change from moment to moment, they always think that it makes a huge difference when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Relatively hard working people don’t care about healthy habits, they become sick pretty quick.
Mostly they are haphazard and have no sense of balance on various aspects of life because they have poor understanding of how the brain actually works effectively.
They rarely read books outside of their profession.
Most of the time they have ready-made answers, “I don’t have time to read outside books.”
They are poor at making connections between different dots of life in one pattern, because they see the flow of life only in one direction.

Hard Working people try too hard to do more than their best, they will spend more energy than is needed and in the end their best will not be enough.
When they overdo, they deplete their body and go against themselves, and it will take them longer to accomplish their goals.

When I first came to the USA, more than a decade ago, I did a low paid hourly job for some time to survive.
I was attending school as well as working in a cafeteria.
I was unable to afford a new car so I was driving a very old car.
One day my car broke down on the way to work and I took it to the workshop to fix it.
The mechanic examined it and said it costs four hundred dollars to fix the car.
He said, “The equipment costs seventy five dollars and three hundred dollars is labor plus tax.”
He added, “You can pick up your car tomorrow at noon.”
I said,” “If it takes only two hours then why are you charging me three hundred dollars?”
He replied, “Sir, I am charging you not only for two hours but also my nine years of hard work: five years auto engineering and four years of internship.”
I didn’t say anything, I remained silent.
Actually, the first time in my life I understood the price of something which I never realized before.
I also understood why I pay three hundred dollars to my primary care physician for a thirty minutes health check up in the clinic.
I widely opened my brain and told him to fix my car.

I was about to leave, I asked him again, “Could you fix my car today so that I can pick it up in the evening?”
He replied, “Sir, I was a very hard working person before but I suffered a lot. Believe me. I owned this workshop after many years of hard work. I started as a cleaning boy in a car dealer shop many years ago.”
“Recently I am learning smart work instead of hard work. My productivity and health has gone up pretty quickly,” he further added.
He said, “I might finish your work today by working a little longer but my wife wouldn’t be happy at home if I become late for dinner because we have invited our niece for dinner tonight.”
I felt how courageous and sincere this person is.
He is communicating with me as clearly as he can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.
He is speaking with integrity.
He is saying only what he means and using his words in the direction of truth.

In any circumstance hard work does not mean we should constantly work all the time.
Naturally, our body and mind is not designed for it.
But hard work should be in such a way that our mind should constantly enjoy and explore the work.

Hard work becomes smart work when we tweak the mind to get the best of the best in everything.

Smart working people stick to their best for any positive atomic habit.
Most importantly, they avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

But in a lot of cases hardworking people fall in the trap of self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
Personally I have also experienced these types of people in my life directly or indirectly.
They often exhibit unhygienic, nerdy, and pompous behaviour.

I experienced this car mechanic’s transformation from a hard worker to a smart worker as a representation.
He was living his life with blossom.
Most importantly, he was productive, he was giving himself to his family, to his community, to everything.
He was impeccable, he was taking responsibility for his actions, but he wasn’t judging or blaming himself.
I learned from him: in any condition, do your best, no more and no less.
Learn how to change your best over time.
It’s true that hard work is required everywhere but let’s not forget to work smart.
Smart work is a choice, and so is the hard work.

Thank you for your time.
– Yam Timsina