thoughts on hard work

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I've been thinking...has working hard become a bad thing in our generation? Have we become afraid of hard work, failing, and getting dirty? Binging Netflix has become the new hobby, and while I can totally say that I do this sometimes, the very idea of spending my time this way very often bothers me. What untapped potential is silently being destroyed by Netflix and too many "chill" days?

through endurance we conquer
— Ernest Shackleton

 

For the past few years I've made it my goal to read a book on survival. Several years ago it was about Ernest Shackleton, explorer to the Arctic, then it was a book about Louie Zamperini (that was the ultimate survival story), and then this past year it was a book about George Mallory. George Mallory in particular stood out because he attempted to reach the summit of Mt. Everest three times - three times - in the early 1920's, only to die attempting the third time. How many of us would have given up at after the first, or maybe second attempt? When I read books like this something stands out to me. These people had a passion for something - and nothing stopped them from trying their hardest to reach their goal. Even knowing they very well may die trying to reach their end goal, they pushed on anyway. These people inspire me, because so often I give up when the going gets hard. These people aren't super-human - they're just like you and me. They feel the heat and cold and sweat and the tears that burn our eyes burned theirs, too. But the difference between them and you and me is that they did.not.give.up. They kept going, their end goal burned into their brains. I want to be like that. To believe in my end goal so much that I don't give up, even when things are hard, even seemingly impossible. Every day you and I are faced with a choice - work hard, or give in to a life of ease. 

I want to be a person who doesn't give up. Who pushes through the hard parts, the parts I don't get, to quit making excuses that I'm not smart enough or talented enough, or __ enough to reach my goals. Has our generation forgot how to work hard? I know I all too readily trade in hard work for the easy route. Do you? Learning how to work hard and use our brains won't come easily, especially if we've allowed ourselves to follow the easy path of ease and leisure. Thank goodness it's not too late, though. If you're reading this it means you're alive and have the potential - starting today - to do great things. Learn to embrace hard work