Opinion: Easy come, easy go?

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We’re the most intelligent person in the room. We work smart, not hard. We multitask. We benefit from a very, very expensive education. We have a good work/life balance. Simply put, we are better than others and don’t have to do as much as they do to keep up. We work too much. We have too much. It is time to stop and smell the roses.

True, we don’t spend as much time planting, harvesting and preparing food. True, we have recovered hours per day that were formerly dedicated to chopping firewood and tending to large families. True, we have vacations and holidays and work-from-home choices. True, we have more entertainment options on our phones than a generation ago would have enjoyed in an entire city. Still, shouldn’t we demand a bit more leisure? Shouldn’t we enjoy a three- or four-day weekend every week? Why not?

Advocates for government restrictions on how much we can work, or be expected to show up, have found new life in the murky world of COVID-19 lockdowns. Surely, the issue is productivity and output, not time spent? But in an increasingly competitive and global world, how long does it take before those who have a different take on the role of labor to catch up? Is work a burden to be eschewed or an opportunity to be made into advantage? How much smarter do we have to be than everyone else on the planet to stay on top without showing up?

If talent matters, can LeBron James practice half as much as a lesser competitor and still dominate? Generational advantage not maintained rarely lasts. Are we good enough to be a part-time winner? Did our parents work hard so we could have a better life or an easier one? Are they the same thing?


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