Hard Work Is The Enemy Of Creativity

Let’s face some facts. The corporate world expects you to “Put your nose to the grindstone” and not let up until the job is done. That creates an atmosphere of workaholics who then go up the corporate ladder, and that self-propagation results in a less creative environment. The more hard work you indulge in, the less creative you become.

What is the answer to this dilemma?

The obvious answer is for corporations to give time for people’s creative juices to be creative. When you have plenty of time to loaf and think of unconventional things, you more likely come up with paradigm shift ideas that will move the corporation forward, and maybe even make the world a better place.

All companies need grindstone people who keep track of things like profits and margins. But, the secret is to put creative people in charge who will move the business forward with new and improved products and services. I can still remember when I lived close to the Army Finance Center near Ft. Harrison in Indianapolis. The building was HUGE and was lined with thousands of desks for people who wrote the paychecks for the military. Today, that is likely done in a room one-thousandth the size, controlled by a handful of people.

That was a paradigm shift that has been replicated thousands of times due to the creative genius of a few people. Giving people time to just think about things without stifling rules is where creativity begins.

Hard work is the enemy of creativity

The more hard work occupies your time, the less creative you become, but let’s now move on to a personal level.

When you allow yourself to veg out and think wildly, you will come up with some amazing ideas that just might make your future what you dream it to be. Creative people, by definition, are people who live on the margins. Mainstream thinkers are those who live in the herd and keep their nose to the grindstone.

Of course, we all need a roof over our heads and food in our stomach, and that takes money. To the truly creative souls, that is necessary but secondary to life at best. Many take jobs such as waiters and sales people and work just enough to live, and then spend the majority of their time creatively. Others might consider them poor, but they consider themselves much richer than those who put their noses to the grindstone. They proudly consider themselves on the margins.


Even if you were a grindstone person like I was for too much of my work life, you still have time to exercise your creative juices and accomplish a dream or two. My secret to doing just that is that I am retired. I can now spend my time however I want. I am constantly seeking out new ideas and adventures to make the last third of my life more fulfilling. And that is a great place to be.

I love living on the margins. 😎