It is nice to hear sports people about their performance and how hard they have suffered. Physical labor always goes hand in hand with "good suffering", so you feel that you LIVE in this body that in one way or another "must" be pushed up to higher performance.
It feels good, afterwards you are relaxed and above all, the mind is empty! You have focused entirely on performance and picks, physically and mentally, usually the fruits of this.
The above is a pleasant experience, but when one extends this experience to the spiritual life, 'hard work' is not so pleasant. During "working on oneself" one goes through the whole range of emotions. Emotions are energy draining and in most cases they leave you penniless! You do not have an immediate good feeling about the performance afterwards, as is the case with a physical activity. Later you can "maybe" say that you feel better than before. This is usually because you have climbed out of a pit and come up at the same level as before. (During the emotional experience you descend to a lower level, you have the feeling that you are working hard and you come back up in "the same place or even lower than before".)
Spiritually, "hard work" means nothing! It is the "Knowledge about the workings of the Divine" that can lift you to unprecedented heights. Take the parable of the lost son. The "lazy son" left the "Father's House" to go his own way. He didn't work and spent all his money on all kinds of nonsense things. When his money ran out and he had had enough of all that "shit" he went back to the "Father's House". And the "clown" was also received with open arms by the "Father" against the will of the other son who had always behaved in an exemplary way! There was even a party for the lost son! Just because he came back to "Home"! The "Father" did not even ask where the son had been all this time and what he had done!
With the above in mind, if you acquire "Higher Insights" and apply it in your daily life, do you think anyone, anybody, will ask you if you worked hard and suffered hard ???
A "blissful life in joy" will give you so much more insights that your mind and body are too small to hold them all!
Eddy and Rita