Now that I'm in my mid-20s, there seems to be a huge difference between what people think is "working hard". I am trying to give this thought but I would like more input first. Compare: Case 1: Construction worker - physical labor, 8-10 hour days, grueling conditions of weather, physical energy required, etc. Case 2: Aggressive salesman - spends 10 hours a day trying to push sales, follow leads, lots of personal contact and communication. Focus is not constant Case 3: Surgeon - spends 12 hours a day working, first 4-6 are in surgery (intense focus, mentally draining, extreme liability) and the rest are done in follow-ups, emergencies, or treatment planning Case 4: Investment banker - spends 90-110 hours a week churning out excel spreadsheets and data for higher-ups Case 5: CEO - big-time decisions with 10-1000 people affected by each of those decisions. It may be impossible to compare one's strife to another, but I can't help but think that the mental focus required for doctors and upper-level management may be the most challenging of all. Many people I have asked disagree with me, saying physical labor is the worst. Others say that long hours are the worst. What do YOU think is classified as working hard? Is it quality over quantity?