I am not sure where it comes from. It would not surprise me if things like the Protestant Ethic were highly influential in its promotion. What I am referring to is the way that people believe things get better if you work harder.
By work harder, the expression usually involves appearing to apply more pressure to something. Adding even more muscle and grit to something. Give it one more almighty push. Go for that extra hour. Sweat a bit more and grunt louder and the results will come.
For some that works a treat and even when it doesn’t work they applaud the appearance of more effort being put into it. As that works for some, I am not always sure it works for all and because of its prevalence, people might overlook alternative approaches to improvement.
Those approaches include working out wiser ways to improve. Being a better writer has not required more hours. It has required better use of the hours available. Being a better presenter hasn’t required a greater strain in speaking and elaborating. It required sensitivity to time for preparation, practice and delivery and then particularly investing time in learning from others.
A lot of time and energy has been saved by not doing the same thing with more effort, but doing something different or approaching it from a different perspective.
They are alternatives in approaching the issue of improving. I don’t want to stay at the same level in any of my pursuits. I like the thought of advancing and improving. I think it’s sad that many have stuck to one tune in thinking that is the only path to improving. I hope I will always be open to wisdom in the path of progress.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden