If you are not happy, the reason is your rules. Every upset is a Rules upset.

People have rules like if I must be happy X, Y, Z must happen.

A business man might say for him to be happy, he must be earning a certain profit. Another person might say if I must be happy, I must wake up and find that my feet is above the ground. These two scenarios illustrate two different types of rules for happiness or happiness rules.

Too many rules for happiness limits your options for experiencing happiness. Too few rules can limit your drive. The ideal quality and quantity of rules depends on your unique personal situation. If you can adjust your rules so that you can experience both happiness and at the same time possess drive, that is all what you need.

The same applies to competence. Your competence rules determine what you need to do to feel competent.

I used to feel competent only after I had learnt a subject to a certain degree of depth. I once found a colleague who felt that he mastered Unix and shouted "Hurray! I know Unix!" after learning just two simple commands. What a belief system to model!

There are also progress rules. In the above example, this person felt that he made a great progress after learning just two simple commands in Unix. There are people who work overnight, to develop a sense of progress.

Basically, there are two ways. You can toil, produce results and become resourceful due to the results you achieve. I would say it is Hard work. Smart work consist of becoming resourceful first and then producing results due to the resourcefulness. It is the reverse of hardwork.

Excellence can be a combination of both hard work and smart work.