The taste of almost every recipe can often be attributed to a few key ingredients. No matter how many substitute ingredients or effort you put in, the taste is never going to be the same. Similar to this, every success story has that one ingredient that matters the most, and that in my opinion is nothing but pure hard-work. Can you guess why I quoted 'pure' too? This is because there can be two types of hard-works and believe me, the second type isn’t going to fetch you much in the long run.
The first type of hard-work I want to talk about is 'pure' hard-work. This is the simplest and the most straightforward path to success. Simply said:
There is no substitute for hard-work.
This points to all the ordeals you face while achieving your goals in a conscientious way. You may be wondering from where did conscientiousness come in here?
In the race to reach the top, people often forget what they are actually doing it for. They just want to reach the top of the mountain no matter how many competitors they might have to pull down for that. But can success really be achieved through this process? In the short term, Yes; but a huge NO in the long term. One day or the other someone is going to pull down you too. A question arises here:
In the world of fiends can I really be the saint?
Before answering this question I would like to ask you; how many successful people can you count on your fingers who are successful because of their unconscientiousness? Now count the number of successful and conscientious people. Fingers aren’t enough, right? The top of the leaderboard of successful people is filled with hardworking and honest-to-self individuals. They never suppressed their conscientiousness. The only reason is:
Once you stop listening to your conscience, it will never speak up again and that will be the point where you lose track of the way to your goal.
Let’s take up a daily life scenario. If you are a student, you’ll relate to it. During these COVID times, the format of online exams is being exploited in the worst way possible. Students are giving their exams with a Google tab open in their browsers to look up answers and paste them as they are. But is it really correct to do so? Not really, because although the format and the way of evaluation of the exams may have changed, the content of the syllabus and its importance still holds. A student may not study, cheat in the exam, and score excellent marks, but does that really make him adept with the subject matter? It may not matter at an elementary level but in professional life at an advanced level, it will.
Nowadays even school students are more appropriately being called ‘cyber kids’ as they are extremely well-versed with technology. They are fully aware of the means they have and can use to score well in exams. At such a level, passing or failing the exams doesn't really matter . The fearsome part is how it becomes a habit to cheat for puny things too.
The only solution to this is to make an early start, have a plan, and finish things one by one instead of waiting for the last hour when you are left with no choice but to kill your conscientiousness.
Smart-work: The most misinterpreted word
Recently there was a buzz regarding ‘smart work’ and everyone was saying, “Hard workers don't make the difference, smart workers do.” But who are these smart workers? Are these the people that cheat through some or the other way to reduce their work or get it done in an inappropriate way? Definitely not. Smart working doesn't mean leaving behind your conscience and going to any extent to get your work done. Piling up your part of the work on a junior is not called smart work. Smart work means properly organizing your tasks, eliminating unnecessary things, and correctly prioritizing them to achieve better efficiency. I guess the only way hard work and smart work differ, is their approaches towards completion. While hard work aims at completing everything whatever it takes, smart work aims at making the most out of time to achieve things in a prioritized manner.
Why do you need to be conscientious?
The above facts are enough to prove the importance of conscientiousness, yet I would like to highlight how important it is to be conscientious for a leader. Conscientiousness is regarded as one of the most important qualities of leadership. You cannot become a good leader if you are not conscientious. How do you believe your team to be honest with you when you can not be honest with yourself. When you are using inappropriate means to get your job done, why do you think your team won’t apply those unconscientious means on you? Will you be able to gain the respect a leader has when you are not conscientious? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself before expecting to lead a team.
Hence I would conclude with the fact that conscientiousness is not only an important virtue one must have but also an important aspect that makes a leader, a leader. Most importantly, being conscientious is important for a good night's sleep where you are not worried about the actions you took because they were unconscientious. You can rest, assured that you did nothing wrong and such a sweet sleep of satisfaction makes the taste of success sweet.
Author : Risabh Kedia, Sophomore at College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar Image Credits: https://helloskills.org/blog/conscientiousness-personality-trait/