When I was about 15, I remember asking my best mate's big brother about his A-levels. He came out with 2 A's and a B (after getting appalling GCSE results).

I was intrigued how he managed to turn it around and assumed it must have been down to pure hard work.

He said he didn't work particularly hard though, just smart.

I don't think I really understood what he meant at the time, I thought he was just trying to make it seem effortless and cool.

But he was definitely onto something.

Hard work is seen as a badge of honour.

Grafting for a cause is noble. It makes us feel good. Like we are contributing and pulling our weight.

But does it serve us, or other people?

I prefer the idea of working smarter.

Planning work in properly.

Not rushing things.

Focussing on quality and the end results.

It's only a change in semantics, but I think it's an important distinction to make.

What do you think?