In order to accomplish greatness, you must never work hard, but rather always work smart. Robert Heinlein's novel "Time Enough for Love" includes the following quote:
"Progress doesn't come from early risers- progress is made by lazy people looking for easier ways to do things."
This is so important. It is fundamental to greatness. The system wants you to believe that by "working hard", you can accomplish the American Dream. In reality, it is those who work "smart" and not "hard" that make their dreams come true. The system dangles the carrot of the American Dream in front of its citizens. However, the way in which to take a bite of the carrot is not to work as hard as you can to reach for that carrot but rather to find smart ways to get to the carrot and actually take a bite-- finding methods that do not result in as much wasted energy and in which, you actually do get to bite that carrot. Perhaps instead of straining your neck for the carrot, you find a pile of rocks to stand on and take a bite out of the carrot without any strain at all.
The system does not want people to know about working smart. If people put at the forefront of their goals the conservation of their own energy, they would not want to work 8 hours a day for mediocre pay. They would want to find ways to put out less energy and yet still get more energy than they had previously gotten at their jobs.
So, instead, the system tells people that "hard work is a virtue" and espouses the wonders of being one of those who works hard in life, calling them the "salt of the earth."
Because certainly if people learned to work smart, the hierarchical society that we live in would collapse on itself because it wouldn't have a foundation of hard working suckers to do all the "hard work" that keeps the house from falling over.