This I Believe

Nathan - Belmont, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

It is in this that I put all importance, significance, and belief in: Hard work builds character. While I wish this had been the credo lived throughout all my life, the truth is that the truth of this platitude has been a recent discovery. I have been cursed with the blessing to be able to float through life, academics, sports, and relationships, without the application of effort, and relative to my peers succeed. However, this existence did not return to me the quality I wanted in life. This inept lifestyle kept me always searching for something more fulfilling then what I was experiencing.

My quest led to my brother. He struggled not with academics but with the overwhelming financial burden that a private university demands in hope of a supposedly better future. Amazingly, he delved into the art of door to door sales. This unappetizing endeavor seemed an empty pursuit without reward. After his internship, that he so carelessly signed away his summer pleasantries for, it did return to him great value. Stories of trial and difficulty overcome struck deep into the recesses of who Nate wanted to be. Not only had my brother mastered his art, he’d become a new person and perhaps the new owner of what I coveted.

The next weeks were trial, testing and overwhelming conflict. Each day started with a self-inflicted cold shower at 5:59AM, knocking on doors by 8:00, and a new myriad of problems to overcome. I struggled to motivate myself to work hard through rejection, failure, anger, torrential downpours, 32 days of 100 degree heat, and intense loneliness of fourteen hour days. Running my own business in a environment, I accepted the possibility of 0 dollar days. This demanded intensity with no excuses, no taking off for illness, no slowing down due to exhaustion accrued over 85-hour weeks of intense mental and physical concentration. The idea that my brother was simply blessed with his success was now a hollow thought in my overwhelmed mind.

I quickly learned that to overcome conflicts, I had to embrace them. I realized success came through accepting hardships, even learning to take joy in the knowledge that each day meant gaining abilities and habits to follow me throughout life. I kept the quote, “What I someday will be, I am now becoming,” taped to my dashboard.

Despite producing more per week than any other first year dealer, it wasn’t numbers that made my summer. I set out to learn what it meant to attain true accomplishment. This value in retained from hard work produced in my life deep satisfaction. Yes, it was tough and full of setbacks and hardship, but not only have I learned that perseverance is accomplishment, each summer I will put myself in the way of that hardship in order to be the person I am now becoming.