Long work is what the lawyer who bills 14 billable hours a day filling in forms does.
Hard work is what the insightful lawyer does when she analyses and synthesises four disparate ideas and comes up with an argument that wins the case, in less than five minutes.
Long work has a storied history. Farmers, hunters, factory workers… Always there was long work required to succeed. For generations, there was a huge benefit that came to those with the stamina and fortitude to do long work.
If you do what you are told, everyday, following instructions, step by step, doing more routine work and less mental and emotional engaging work, you are working long, you are not working hard, it is working long.
Hard work is scary. We shy away from hard work because inherent in hard work is risk.
Hard work is hard because you might fail.
You can’t fail at long work, you merely show up, complete the forms, stamp the letters all day from 9 am to 5 pm.
You fail at hard work when you don’t make an emotional connection, or when you don’t solve the problem or when you hesitate.
I think it’s worth noting that long work often sets the stage for hard work. If you show up enough and practice enough and learn enough, it’s more likely you will find yourself in a position to do hard work.
It seems, though that no matter how much long work you do, you won’t produce the benefits of hard work unless you are willing to leap.