I have been learning recently the value of hard work.
The idea behind hard work is that is achieves something worthwhile. But what happens when nothing is “achieved?”
Everyone knows that hard work does not always pay off. We do not always see the direct benefits of it.
Does that mean that the hard work–all the pain, sweat, time, energy, emotions, sacrifice–becomes suddenly pointless and wasted? That would certainly be tragic if that is the case. And, that is what it normally feels like when the equation does not add up the way it is “supposed” to. It feels like a tragedy. What a waste… Maybe it is my own way of making myself feel better–but after a lot of tears and thoughts, I have come to the conclusion that nothing is wasted.
The outcome may not have been achieved, but the process of commitment and sacrifice surfaces aspects of the self deep within that would never have been reached.
Oftentimes people will look back on situations and ask themselves, “If I had known that it would turn out like this, would I do it over again?” It is a painful question to really ask yourself. Nobody wants to say that they would take it all back if they knew how it ended, because that would leave them with a heavy amount of regret that nobody wants to deal with. But, if they were to answer it honestly, we probably would take it back. Nobody likes disappointment and the feeling the failure. Having the opportunity to “do it over” may produce a different outcome. So, in reality, if faced with the chance to go back to the beginning (which obviously is not possible but work with me), then most would want to do something different so that they could have the shot at a better outcome.
I am glad that we do not know if we will have success or not. If success was a guarantee, then the entire process of work would change. The heart and the desire would be taken out. We would just be machines… and would only put the least amount of effort in to receive the benefits. We would not go above and beyond what was required. And, if we realized we couldn’t complete the equation, then we would back out.
Suddenly, hard work wouldn’t exist anymore. It wouldn’t take the sacrifice. There would be no chances taken. And the thrill of success would lose its wonder.
Keep working hard. Know that you are not guaranteed success, but that you won’t have success if you don’t put in the effort.
“Do all things as if you are working for God and not for man.”
That requires the highest amount of dedication… working for God?!?! He really wants us to work hard in everything we do… But he guarantees us only that “we will have trials of many kinds. But take heart! [He has] overcome the world!”