“Don’t tell me how talented you are. Tell me how hard you work.” Arthur Rubenstein
My friend, Jen, sent me this quote the other day and I love it! The interesting thing about hard work is that I don’t believe you can teach it. I believe hard work is something that develops, in part, because of your upbringing.
As a child, I remember our financial situation was always difficult. Everyone worked in my house and if you wanted something, you paid for it. I remember when my Dad told me, right before I left for college, “I will pay for your first semester ($3,000), but you have to pay for the rest.” I remember feeling like I was punched in the stomach. I panicked. How was I going to pay thousands of dollars to go to college? Quickly, my grittiness kicked in and I told myself I’d figure it out—and I did. Between student loans and working as a waitress, I did exactly what I had to do to make college happen for me. In my mind, there was no other choice—I was going to college.
We tend to look at the challenges we face as bad things, but are they? I’m not so sure. As a matter of fact, I would argue that the challenges make us better, grittier, more resilient, more persistent and sometimes more hard working. No one wants difficult and challenging situations in their life, but in hind sight, they may be blessings in disguise. The residual that is left after the challenge is our reminder that we are capable of anything! Let’s think about that for ourselves as well as our children.
P.S. The only reason my dad agreed to pay the first $3,000 was because we couldn’t get the student loan in time.