Working Hard

When you think of ‘hard work’ what are some of the images that come up for you?

Is ‘hard work’ a priori virtuous?
To ask this question through a narrative: Say there’s a person who’s worked hard all her life for her dream, she’s suffered a lot, but finally she makes it, the thing she was working on happens, she gets what she wants.
Then imagine someone else, who just for no reason, luck or the universe or whatever, totally just gets what she wants.
Who is more virtuous?

"Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes."
From How to Fly a Horse, Creative People Say No

Do you agree or disagree with this passage?

"—Okay, so what is the Taker vision, the vision that has made us the master of the world and the enemy of life? Can you articulate it?
—I can try: We’re the creature for whome the world was made, so we can do what we please with it. That’s a start.
—Yes, that’s a good start. According to this vision, God seems to have little interest in the rest of the world.
—That’s right. God cares about people. People are the big deal. People are what he made the universe for.
—So the world was made for Man, and Man, what was Man supposed to do with the world?
—He was supposed to rule it. It was given to him to rule.
—But oddly enough, the world wasn’t ready for him to rule, was it? Man was ready-made to rule the world but the world wasn’t ready-made for him to rule it.
—No, that’s true, I never noticed that before.
—So what did Man have to do to make the world ready to rule?
—He had to subdue it, conquer it.
—That’s right. And he’s still at it, isn’t he. So this is the Taker vision: The world was made for Man, and Man was made to conquer and rule it."
The Story of B, p.150-151

Do you agree or disagree with this passage?
Is conquering and ruling easy work or hard work?

Do you think our culture values hard work above all else? Or is it at least up there in the things that we’re expected to value?