So-called Hard work and Delusional Hope: A subtle relationship
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So-called Hard work and Delusional Hope: A subtle relationship

Doing irrelevant and ill-planned things in the hope of achieving a goal doesn’t come under the gambit of hard work

Post by NADEEM QAYOOM on Wednesday, January 11, 2023

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

                                                (Robert Frost)

 Every success in the relevant field gives a person elated satisfaction and, more than that, a strong sense of motivation regarding his or her abilities. It also makes the person aware of where he went wrong in his past trials. They may be the thawing of family relations, cracking an examination, or achieving a cherished goal. Different schools of thought have different takes on the prerequisites that lead to success. Aspects of spirituality, mental calibre, hard work, luck, and the like do find their place in their argument. Each of these indeed has its part to play, and the same can’t be ignored, or at least it shouldn’t be. The main part of the process is to allow each of these ingredients to do their job in an effective and unerring manner, or else dissatisfaction and confusion in life gain momentum. A subtle relationship among the above ingredients of success is always in favour of one’s progress and prosperity, subject to the condition that they are allowed to do their job in a relevant and fitting way.


Nobody should be misled about the meaning of success, let alone the methods for achieving it. Success may have varied definitions relevant to the respective school of thought, but it is also worth mentioning here that one precondition is considered common to achieve success, whatever the insinuation of the same may be. And I'm referring to HARD WORK. Nobody would deny its foremost relevance in achieving the desired result. This ingredient of success has its own nuances and needs to be effectively planned and efficiently worked on, be it its preparation, the area where it needs to be done, or how it is to be done; all three peculiarities must be kept in mind and applied. The majority of us fail to understand the true essence of HARD WORK and that is where we should focus.


For the sake of understanding, we may have heard or observed determined students failing exams badly. Why is it so that they, after burning their midnight oil, don’t find their place in the selection list? The reason behind it may be the hard work itself, in the sense of where and how they are doing it. It is not possible to achieve the feat by applying the wrong techniques until those are realised and rectified at the earliest. In this part of the world, a common observation in this regard is that if a student is awake studying until three in the morning, it is labelled as "hard work." The student believes he or she is focused and on the right track, but the results tell a different story. Doing irrelevant and ill-planned things in the hope of achieving a goal doesn’t come under the gambit of HARD WORK, no matter how dedicated you are to doing the same.

The delusional hope that our loved ones give us before and after failure is the second-most important reason for the next failure. The above-cited reason is a precursor to this one. Following our rote and ill-prepared hard work comes the delusory hope of obtaining what we desire. The mind of students, for example, is so conditioned from their childhood that they get stuck in a cesspool of never-ending anxiety and then depression after they taste failure, even though they have left no stone unturned in their so-called "hard work." Relatives, friends, and other close ones exacerbate the problem by selling them hope rather than advising them on how to correct the mistake in their journey, though all of them aren't the same.


And the worst part is that hope comes by itself if a person is confident; he or she is on the right path. The difference is whether a person's path was correct in the actual sense or not, and if he or she perceived that it was the wrong way to do things, did he or she change the course of action or remain in the delusional hope sold by others of getting things done in a certain way? In the event of being wrong, the reluctance of many to embrace change in their thoughts, course of action, and perception of things will cost them dearly in the future. Change is inevitable. Had this not been the case, then children would not have grown into adults and then into old people. There would have been no seasons to soothe our souls, nor would there have been day and night. 


Having said that, it can be concluded that the ingredients of success could be many depending upon its mode of perception, but almost each of its forms has one precondition in common, and that is planned and effective hard work. Delusional hope is a poison that everyone should be aware of and keep themselves and others away from. When we need to get somewhere, we don't reinvent the wheel, but rather use our intellect to devise various modes of transportation that will get us there quickly. What and how something is required to achieve the desired results is important, but more important is the need to change ways of doing things if one discovers the wrong approach he or she was using in previous ones. And yes, that makes all the difference.



(Author is a Columnist and can be reached at

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