Work Hard… and Work Even Harder

As I browse over my planned schedule for senior year, I both cringe and feel slightly giddy at the amount of work I know is headed my way. Challenging myself has always been an activity I have found enjoyable because it just means that I am constantly getting better. However, over the past few years I have come to realize that my constant pursuit for more work is not shared by everyone.

At first I was very confused because to me, why wouldn’t someone always push themselves to their limits? It was not until recently I figured out some people believe that simply completing their responsibilities without complaining too much should be enough to award them the highest of honors.

There are a few issues with that philosophy. The biggest problem is no one is going to pat you on the back for doing what you’re supposed to do. There is no brilliance in fulfilling one’s own responsibilities. Anyone who is labeled excellent has gone beyond the minimum amount of work.

That being said, it is impossible to tell someone exactly how hard he/she will have to work in order to reach the top. The truth about life is there is always going to be someone trying to beat you and if you want to stay on top, you will always have to be the one to work harder. Once aware of this, it is up to you to make the appropriate choices in life.

What people fail to realize is if you put in the average amount of time doing average work, you are going to be average. Now, there is nothing wrong with being average, but you should not expect to receive more rewards than what you have worked for. If you only work hard enough to be number two, then you’re going to be number two.

Some people will claim that working hard only gets one so far and success is just a mixture of good timing and natural talent that makes people stand out. In reality, those who blame success on pure luck are the ones coming in second. They forget that everyone who rose to be number one had years of hard work already logged before they were able to take advantage of the opportunities laid out before them. Without hard work, taking risks means nothing.

All those nights you spent (or will spend) four or more hours working on homework and studying for a test are worth it. Do not let the fact that half the class already looked up the answers prevent you from working hard to understand the material. When you become better than what you once were, when you are the one to succeed, you will know you have won.