What Do We Teach Our Children About Hard Work?

3:30 AM

Most parents, including myself, often tell our children whenever they encounter something especially challenging, to persevere and work hard. We say hard work pays off, if not immediately, then eventually. During these times that shortcuts like popularity, favoritism, and "smart" ways seem to work for some, how do we convince our children that any accomplishment achieved through hard work is much sweeter and more fulfilling than any recognition received from calculated strategizing?

Traditional Hard Work

Success in its truest sense comes at the price of hard work, nothing less. It is about dedication for the job at hand, doing what needs to be done to accomplish the desired end. It is not about always winning but rather recognizing the possibility of losing at times and yet not losing the determination to push on. 

Work Hard or Work Smart

There are many people today who believe that working smart is better than working hard. If working smart means making right choices, then I am with them. But to say that we can forego hard work by working smart, then that is something that I find hard to believe. We rarely hear of a success story borne solely from luck. Hard work will always play a role in a person's success story, although it may come in different forms.

My Say

Working both hard and smart is the way to go. Do not mistake smart work with the absence of substantial effort or action. That in itself is not smart thinking. Keep your eye on the prize and be ready to do what it takes but be smart enough to make the right choices so that you will not be unnecessarily burdened with too much mistakes that will make the work harder. 

That said, we must resist the urge to set aside the value of hard work even during those times that it doesn't seem to matter. Let us do our best at all times even when nobody is looking. Don't just look busy for the sake of it. After all, we would know ourselves if we are simply bluffing our way to our desired goals.

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