From the time I was young, tens of people have asked, “Shreya, what is the key to your success?” Not wanting to share my secrets, I appeased them by feeding them lies such as ‘hard work,’ ‘passion’ or ‘dedication,’ when in reality the only requisites are to either do the minimum amount of work required or be inherently better than everyone else. Those are the only two paths I have found. It’s not that hard work does not lead to success; it just all kind of seems like a waste to me.
First, I will delve deeper into the second path. This one is extremely difficult because one must not only be born better than everyone else, but also be born into a fortunate situation and optimal settings. In this path, the lucky inherently superior person can have as high standards as he or she pleases. I am not this type.
My parents always say “You could have gone to Harvard if you had just applied yourself.” But really? Could I have really? The answer is no. This is the foundation of the formerly mentioned path to success. Why would I do so much work, put so much effort, into something I do not really want to do? From the age of six I have wanted to go to the University of Michigan, so why would I put in the work for Harvard? Doing the minimum amount of work has always worked for me, so I digress by telling an anecdote.
My parents really blew it out of the park with their two experiments (my sister and I). They raised one as hardworking, compassionate, loving, athletic, intelligent, and altruistic daughter… and then they also raised me. My sister’s tactics throughout high school consisted of studying for long hours, volunteering, and practicing tennis. Mine comprise binge watching TV shows, winning tournaments out of pure luck, and putting in the minimum amount of effort to maintain my grades. See, my sister wanted to go to MIT, and she was let down. My sister gets very stressed out; I do not. When your standards are set reasonably low, you are never disappointed. Considering both of us are going to the University of Michigan, you can decide for yourself who the winner is.
If you make a graph (which I have not made) with work on the y-axis and satisfaction on the x-axis, I bet that as the amount of work goes up the satisfaction sort of plateaus and maybe even declines. Doing work is so much harder than not doing work, and there is possibly a positive correlation between lack of work and happiness. So I guess the moral of the story is that having no standards and doing as little work as possible sometimes (at least once) has led to minor success.
Disclaimer: None of this is backed up by facts, and you should probably do the work.