I personally have found that if I try to write for more than a few hours at a time, my creativity dries up. If I don’t pursue other activities–I have some very absorbing hobbies–on a daily basis, I eventually reach a point where I can barely write anything!

Success emerges not from hard work per se but from figuring out the best time to act and then acting, not from activity for its own sake.

The statement that “hard work results in success” is, in its own way, as silly as saying “binge-watching TV results in failure.” Indeed, if you’re mentally tired and feeling uncreative, binge-watching TV may be your best strategy. It will relax your mind and distract you from your stress.

And then there’s the definition of success. Very few people have ever said on their deathbed: “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” In a sense, “hard work” is the opposite of success. The reward of “hard work” is often more hard work. I can’t help but think of my uncle, who made millions of dollars trading collectible currency. He defined success as “being able to take a nap whenever you want to.”

Finally, before buying into this “hard work results in success” concept, consider who’s been giving you that advice. Hasn’t it always been people who will personally profit if you work hard … for them?