Learn to Work Hard

purpose Dec 11, 2018

I was having a discussion the other day about a young man that's trying to figure out what to do after graduating high school; is it college? He may not be ready for that. Is it the military? Not sure that's a fit. Is it a gap-year? What the actual heck does that mean? I made the comment that he needs to figure out what he wants to do and when the retort was, "So...how did YOU do that?" an idea emerged that struck me.

My brother and I are only 2 years apart in age. He was my closest friend growing up, in large part because we moved around a lot but also because of our ages. Sure we argued and fought but I can say we always had each other's back (remember, that fight after school when you got me for "backup"...you certainly didn't need it but I was glad to be there). We are two guys that grew up in the same household with the same parents and similar opportunities in life so why was there nearly a decade between when we each found what it was we were supposed to be doing? I believe a large factor was it took me so long to learn to work hard and he's had to do it all his life.

I won't dive too deep into our backstories (that's another post) but things have typically come easy for me - school, social, work, etc. whereas he has had to work at it. Consequently, when life reared it's ugly head and things got difficult, I didn't know how to respond and he did. He just dug in and did it whereas I thought something must be wrong and that there had to be an easier way. So I would chase that. And on. And on. (Little tip here; there is no silver bullet. Stop chasing the belief that there is)

This is the issue with not learning to work hard; I was rarely willing to buckle down and just gut through things. Instead choosing to believe that there was some mythical way around the difficulty rather than through it - I would tell myself the story that I was just doing the wrong thing, or in the wrong place, or had the wrong boss, or whatever other externality I could think of to blame it on. It wasn't my fault outside of my inability to see the "easy" route. And if I couldn't see the easy route, I probably should just stop all together. This was easier than facing the cold hard fact: Life is hard. And hard things are what is worthwhile.

Learn to work hard.