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Old 10-11-2016, 10:00 AM
Location: Iceland
876 posts, read 667,151 times
Reputation: 1018


I wasn't sure in which exact forum I should put this because it kind of belongs to many different things, politics, economics, society etc. But in the end, I decided to put it here since I guess this forum comes the closest.

Simply put, hard work is bull****. It's one of the most overrated and overhyped personal qualities ever to exist. We are told that being hard working is what separates a success story from a failure story. We are told that by working hard, we can one day be successful. We are told that if we work hard enough, we can one day be that rich CEO, or successful actor, or success sports star. Or at the very least, retire in comfort after all our years of hard work.

Here are some of the most common arguments in favor of hard work and why they are nonsense:
Argument 1:

"Even if someone starts out from a humble beginning, with enough effort they can become rich as well."
The reality:

Most rich people generally got that way because they enjoyed some favorable/special circumstances that cannot be easily (or at all) replicated by other people. Often these are or were people lucky enough to be the first to enter an infant industry (a barely at the time existent industry which later grows huge) where they did not have to worry about some corporate status-quo crushing them within 10 min of entering it. Take for example Bill Gates. At the time he invented windows modern style operating systems were not widespread, and thus by being the first to take advantage of this he was able to become super wealthy. But how many people have successfully created popular alternatives to windows? Nobody has. Microsoft utterly dominates, because they were the first. Everyone else is a small fish at best.

This is how people ACTUALLY get wealthy. They get favored by some time specific circumstances that normally are not present to other people, and they take advantage of it. That's not to say these aren't smart people, but but the fact of the matter is they would never have gotten rich were it not for their luck.

Argument 2:

"Even if you don't pursue money or wealth, people can still become famous/successful in other ways by pursuing their passions. Like athletes or musicians for example."

The reality:

A common meme among those who subscribe into the idea that hard work is the key to success will often point at athletes or musicians or other such talented and successful folks. Just work hard every day, and one day you as well can be just as good at your passion of choice as your favorite icons are. Wanna be a great chess player? Practice and practice hard. Wanna be good at writing music? Practice and learn until you are good at it!

Except that you can't, because the ability to master any of those things entirely boils down to genetics.

Experiments that tested how people respond to weight lifting and/or other types of training have shown that even with the exact same diets and training, the results are extremely individualistic. Some people literally can't grow any muscle at all (a small minority, but they exist), while others can grow insanely strong in a very short period of time (there are some guys who can deadlift hundreds of pounds after no more than 6-8 months of training). Fitness models and bodybuilders don't like the way they do because they work harder than other lifters, they are merely more genetically gifted.

Even things like being good at creating music are now believed to be genetic. And it makes sense as well, because it's the only plausible reason for why some people can create great works of arts before they are even proper adults (Mozart), while others can't do even half of what they do in their entire life. These people simply have different types of cognitive abilities than we do, and this is why they are so good at what they do. They are not working harder, they are just naturally gifted.

Argument 3:

"Well even if you won't become rich or a famous star, at least you can create a good life for yourself and at some point retire in comfort after all your hard work."

The reality:

Let me ask you something: How well are young people doing in the west right now? That's right, they are doing horribly. But how can that be??? After all, the boomers had it great so clearly hard work pays of right?


The boomers were more successful for exactly 1 reason: Good economy.

Social advancement is all about taking advantage of what you are given. Nobody creates their own opportunities. Nobody. People may be differently smart at playing the cards they are given, but in the end if you have ****ty cards you have ****ty ****ing cards. The boomers enjoyed economical advantages that the latest generation of adults does not, and this is why it is doing worse. The boomers were not harder workers, just like everybody else that becomes highly success they had merely had circumstances on their side.

Argument 4:

"Looks don't matter that much if you have a great personality, and everyone can look at least decent with enough effort."

The reality:

I know this will hurt some people, but your personality means nothing when it comes to attracting people. Sure, a horrible personality might drive people away after a while even if you are good looking, but in the end you will still need looks in order to even have a chance at getting people to care about you. And with the modern rise of social media and online apps like tinder, this is only becoming even more true as people are now able to literally browse through other people without even talking to them once.

If you are sexy, people will give you a chance by default. If you are normal, they MIGHT give you a chance even they can't find anyone better looking. And if you are ugly, you will probably die alone. Think I am being mean by saying that? Consider the fact that there exists a whole internet website/forum run by and for ugly people called "lookism.com" that consists purely of angry ugly people complaining about how they can't get partners and how nobody cares about them because of their looks. Those people would disagree with you that ugly people can also find love. They would know.

And don't think for a moment you can use some special tricks to go from mediocre to sexy either. The 4 most important variables that affect attractiveness (face, body proportions, fat distribution, and height) are all purely genetic and cannot be altered. You will not look sexy because you got a new haircut or because you are wearing different clothing. Gym work won't help you either since it can't alter the above 4 mentioned variables. Simply put you either look good or you don't, and what nature has given you will directly dictate the size of your dating pool.

Argument 5:

"Things don't just fall into place by themselves! You have to make things happen!

The reality:

Actually, things do often just fall into place by themselves. Are you hot? Then the other gender will chase after you for you. Are you born into wealth? Well than that's taken care of. Want a job and the economy is doing well? No prob, you can get a job anywhere.

Well ok, but perhaps you aren't rich or you aren't hot and the economy isn't doing well. What can you do then?

Nothing. You can't apply for jobs that don't exist. You can't date people that don't think you're are hot. And you can't get rich without getting lucky (see number 1).

So why do people believe in the myth of hard work and meritocracy?
There are 3 different types of people who buy into the idea or at least try to convince others it's true:

1. Lucky people with big egos that overestimate how much their skill actually played into their fortune that also underestimate the importance of all the things that helped them get where they are.

2. Dumb people with big dreams who haven't yet realized the truth.

3. The corrupt status-quo who uses these false dreams to keep people in line with the promise of a better future in case people just work hard enough instead of demanding social change.

So yea: hard work=bull****.

Not sure if I have anything else to say.

Do you have anything to add? Comment? Thoughts?
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:54 AM
7,698 posts, read 8,121,938 times
Reputation: 15088
Yea I have something to add. You're depressed.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:17 PM
10,452 posts, read 15,432,427 times
Reputation: 11708
In general, you are correct.
"hard work" is a buzz word keeping people in slavery.
Slavery that is "soft", volunteered for. I think, it was Hamilton that said that there is no better slave, than one that believes he is free.
That said, the BASIC question is - why are you concerned with this? As ultimately, it bears no significance, if a person succeeded in the way you describe it. Money only greeds for more money and more money only greeds for more. Power greeds for more power and more power only greeds for more. And so it goes.
OP, you need to make a life changing decision. What is the BASIC concept of your life? What is that you live for? Then, your perspective on things will either change, or you will continue eating yourself alive being envious to those who "made it" forgetting one simple Truth: naked you come into this world, naked you leave it.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:19 PM
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,082,927 times
Reputation: 3033
Hard work can be BS.

Working smart never is.

If you are passionate in what you do that's a very big step in terms of happiness, and depending on your field you may have a chance a getting rich if you excel in your field.

One thing I do know is that truly successful people never or rarely complain about their circumstances.

It's very easy to sit back, not take chances and or not even think about following dreams, let alone have them.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:30 PM
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,093,464 times
Reputation: 3965
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
Yea I have something to add. You're depressed.
So what if he is? Many people who 'see the world for what it is' have been or are depressed. There is a well-known psychological phenomenon called depressive realism. You'd do well to acquaint yourself with it.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:00 PM
Location: San Diego CA
4,763 posts, read 3,335,707 times
Reputation: 7597
And the alternative is ?
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:54 PM
Location: New Jersey
5,478 posts, read 2,845,256 times
Reputation: 6175
While I agree that hard work alone won't guarantee success, hard work (or at least some work) is necessary. You can't just sit around and expect success. For example, while it is true that Bill Gates was a result of special circumstance, he did put in the necessary work that put him in the position to take advantage of that special circumstance. If he'd just sat around and did nothing, he wouldn't have gotten to where he is.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:30 AM
Location: East Midlands, UK
695 posts, read 254,639 times
Reputation: 1551
Brilliant post. And as technology advances, there will be fewer jobs anyway. People shouldn't be forced to work. Besides, most people want to work in some capacity, so there'd be more jobs for them if we weren't forced.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:04 AM
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
7,240 posts, read 3,002,687 times
Reputation: 6060
Got about a third of the way into the post and then moved on.
Sounds like the OP is preparing to fail, and will become a burden to society.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:06 AM
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
7,240 posts, read 3,002,687 times
Reputation: 6060
Originally Posted by Crazy-Cat-Lady View Post
Brilliant post. And as technology advances, there will be fewer jobs anyway. People shouldn't be forced to work. Besides, most people want to work in some capacity, so there'd be more jobs for them if we weren't forced.
"People shouldn't be forced to work"? Hello?
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