Monday, May 10, 2010

Debunking the Hard Work Myth

I had an experience with a child the other day that got me thinking. Kidlet #1 is extremely intelligent (and no, I'm not just bragging). Fortunately, and unfortunately, that means that a lot of things come easy to him. As a parent, I am trying to get him to see the value of work, especially hard work, because intelligence will only take you so far.

We had a conversation with his karate instructor, who observed that Kidlet #1 is putting forth the minimum amount of effort. Commence parent lecture. One thing that hit me during the lecture was that Kidlet #1 equated hard work with torture. I halted everything to make sure he understood that hard work is not bad.

He disagreed.

I could lapse into codger-like lamentations about the pitiful state of the younger generation, who expect everything to be easy, but beyond that one statement, I won't. Instead I'm writing this blog post. I think this hard work myth is a major obstacle for a lot of people.

Hard work IS hard. Hard work IS NOT bad.

Think back on some of your achievements. Are the ones that stick out to you the things that came easy, that took little to no effort on your part? I'm betting the achievements that still make you feel a flush of pleasure and a "Wow, I really did that!" moment are the ones that took hard work. The effort is part of the value.

So when things get hard (and they will), remember:

hard work bad
hard work = worth it

4 comments:

One Cluttered Brain said...

totally true.

Birthing a baby= HARD work.
So worth it in the end.

College= passing classes to obtain a degree. HARD WORK. So worth it in the end.

Writing a book= HARD WORK
So worth it to see your name in print. Even BEFORE it is published, it is a good feeling.

cleaning the kitchen until it shines= HARD WORK worth it for the clean dishes and that clean fresh kitchen smell.

Yup. Life is hard work. But really worth it in the end.

Thanks for a great post!

Wendy Swore said...

This is so true. On my farm, the kids have to work so hard. They weed/water/plant/whatever...even drive tractors (gardensized through the corn). They both love and hate it but when it's over, they know they did something that no other classmates did, and they can be proud of that.

I hope that they'll take more of the good memories away when all is said and done, and forget the parts that weren't so fun.

Krista said...

Your kidlet #1 sounds like my kidlet #2! I hope he gets it before he leaves home!

Don said...

Kidlet #1 sounds a lot like me in my younger years. Fortunately, I feel like I was able to learn the value of work.

My sister #2 is one of the hardest-working women I know, and as a child she would avoid it at all cost. So there is hope!