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Working Smarter AND Harder (plus words of wisdom from Will Smith)
by On September 9, 2010

Eric PlantenbergUnderstanding the role that your talents and skills play in your career is foundational for your personal improvement.

In the realm of personal development, there is an incredible focus on working smarter not harder. While that is a concept that I have found incredibly valuable in countless scenarios in the past 20 years, I believe that it is only half of the equation.

What many people who are ‘selling’ the work smarter not harder ideology omit is that the AND principle can be found at the core of almost every Elite performance. What I mean by that is that when you look at the best of the best in any field, they are working smarter AND harder to create their Elite results.

When a person slumps… and I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t, I would suggest that the quickest fix is to tighten your focus, put your head down, and get to work. Strategizing the most effective way, planning and working Smarter are all exceptional ideas once you have momentum on your side.

I was incredibly inspired by a short video of Will Smith where he points out what he anchors to in his quest for greatness. Here are a couple of quotes that stood out for me:

“Greatness is something that truly exists in all of us.”
“Don’t you ever tell me there is something that you can’t do.”
“I’m going to lay this (one) brick as perfectly as it can be laid.”

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

I love how these quotes are congruent for such a long time in Will’s life. It really struck me how consistent his message is from early in his life through the present. I also love how Will borrowed some great material from FPD talking about Talents and Skills!

After watching this… I’d love to know what stood out for you. What can you take from this post and Will’s Wisdom to support your achievement of your goals?

Be free!


  1. David

    Gosh, this is great stuff. I’ve already seen this video once, but this is a video I should rewatch again and again. I love his passion and his enthusiasm. What stood out to me was his absolute conviction and certainty that he’s going to succeed, and you just know it’s true when you see him. Developing that kind of steel mindset is a guarantee for succeeding.

  2. Ken Streater

    The section on being unrealistic. Believe in being and be unrealistic. Achieve this by being focused, working hard, and keeping the dream. And, as a father, the most touching section is him speaking to his son about not letting people tell you you can’t do something, “not even me”. That brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

    Eric, see you in October. Let’s go drift the Rogue too.



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