Work Hard, Don’t Hardly Work

Julian - Christiansburg, Virginia
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

My father’s always asking me, “Do you think you could’ve done any better? Did you do your absolute best?” It seems he asks me these questions with everything I do, whether it’s schoolwork or sports. I’m not always sure that I did, or if it even matters that I did or didn’t, but nevertheless, he’s always pushing me to do better. Now as you can imagine, this can sometimes be frustrating. I used to feel like my father wasn’t proud of me for my achievements, like he always expected more. I felt like nothing I did satisfied him, but eventually I learned what his true intentions were. It wasn’t that he wasn’t proud of me; it’s that he wanted me to be proud of myself. My father wants me to do everything I do to the fullest of my capabilities, not withholding any of my abilities, so that I have no regrets when I am older.

Running is a sport that I recently picked up. This sport and I have a love-hate relationship, and it’s definitely one of the hardest obstacles I’ve had to overcome, but it forces me work hard in order to become better. It’s helped me realize that my father’s right, why do anything if you’re not going to give it your best? I always try to run in a way where I feel satisfied with the work I put into it. I have good days, and I have bad days, but I always give my best, so that I don’t regret it later.

My father tells me about things that he wishes he would’ve done when he was younger, or aspects of his life in which he could’ve tried harder. I feel as though everyone could try harder with the things they do, because it truly makes life more rewarding to know that you’ve done your best. I also believe that if people try more things, they might discover talents they never knew they had, thus enriching their life even more!

Now I’m not saying that anyone in the world can set a world record in the one mile run if they work hard, because that’s just not true. But with hard work and patience, they can be happier with themselves, and not feel like they took the easy way out.

So far, this value has really helped some areas of my life, like running and soccer, although I could probably try a little harder with some of my schoolwork. I think this is one of the most valuable lessons my father has taught me, and it doesn’t just apply to me. Everyone should try, because I think they’ll find they’re much happier with themselves.