When is work hard?
I write and research everyday, and lately it's been in a demanding grasp for gusto. Waking early and working late has worn me out, and a friend noticed that I was looking "out of it."
When I explained how hard I've been working he sort of chuckled.
"You don't work hard," he said. "All you do is write."
This guy works in the oilfield, so compared to his rough necking, no, my work is not strenuous. That doesn't mean it's not hard. That doesn't mean there's no effort involved.
But "hard work" is a relative term.
When you're drained at the end of the day, sweaty or not, you've worked hard.
Most of us work in climate controlled office spaces in cushy chairs and a Coke within reach. We don't work the land or handle the tools as our grandfathers and fathers did. Their work was strenuous, but that doesn't make our's easy.
It makes it different.
You work hard when you make something that matters. Putting any form of your blood, sweat, soul, or tears into your work makes it "hard work."
Embrace the hard work and don't worry how others perceive it.