Hello my precious girls. I love you.
Have you ever noticed the quote I have front and center at my desk? It reads: “To achieve more than the average person, you must be willing to work harder than the average person.” (I couldn’t find an author to attribute it to, but anyone at the top of their game has paraphrased the idea). Hard work breeds pride. Satisfaction. Gratitude. Accomplishment. Fulfillment. Confidence. And so much more. The things you want to achieve, the life you want to live, the person you want to be, it’s all attainable . . . if you are willing to do the work.
When I say “hard work,” what I really mean is time. It’s the extra time needed to master a skill. To understand the material well enough to earn the A. It’s the time spent writing a white paper on the opportunity you spotted for your company on top of delivering your work plan. Working hard goes far beyond school or career ambitions. It can look like prioritizing volunteer time around your social calendar. It’s going for a run when you don’t feel like it or pulverizing the irresistible cookies you will regret eating later. It can look like seeing a counselor to work through issues, rather than hoping things will mystically improve. It’s the time to write a letter to a grieving friend or doubling the kitchen time and mess by inviting your kids to a mom-led cooking lesson. It’s choosing to act. Putting in the time is beyond worth the effort. If you are willing to put in the time, you can pursue whatever lies deepest in your heart. Anything! Better yet, you will make the difference God put you on this Earth to make and enjoy a wonderful sense of peace and satisfaction in doing so. But as with any goal worth accomplishing, putting in the time will require trade-offs.
Mostly, these trade-offs will come in the form of business over pleasure. We must overcome our innate human tendency toward comfortable inaction. We must give important things their rightful attention. Spend more time in front of a computer rather than a television. Pursue an internship in which the only paycheck is irreplaceable experience. Swap social time with networking. Replace Instagram browsing with purposeful reading. You might have to fall out of the know or behind on that crazy-good Netflix series for a time. But, only for a time. You will come to find there are seasons where extra effort is needed (perhaps an extra tough semester or the transition to a new job), followed by some recharge time. If you are feeling exhausted, unhappy, anxious or overly stressed, you might need to prioritize that recharge period. It is entirely possible to allow work to crowd out critical prayer, relationship-building and self-care time. Neglecting these things will ultimately take a health toll and diminish all that effort you’re putting forth. Work hard at work, and work hard at taking care of yourself as well.
One final wonderful thing I want you know is that hard work is 100% within your control. No one can stop you from learning, growing, giving or contributing your gifts to the world. Your work ethic is a security blanket of inner conviction. No matter what happens, you can pick yourself up when needed. You can try a new thing. You can believe in a wonderful tomorrow because you know you can make it happen. You will never regret putting in the time to help another, fix a problem or pursue your heart’s desires. Mark Cuban (successful billionaire) has mentioned publicly that his confidence and success come from knowing that he will never be out-hustled. It’s within his control. No one can stop him. And no one can stop you from contributions you were born to make or accomplishments you are meant to enjoy. So put in the time, and enjoy the satisfaction, open doors, growth and awesomeness being a worker delivers. Precious girls, you are unstoppable.
All my Love, Mom