This I Believe: “Nothing Comes Easy”
Hard work is the key to success in the game of life. After my first year in high school, it became clear I had no chance of surviving if I was not ready to put in the hours of hard work necessary to succeed. The realization came even earlier than that, on the athletic field. Growing up playing Neighborhood Club basketball, I was always one of the better players. The game came naturally to me. As I reached middle school, the guys around me grew taller and I stayed where I was, not growing nearly at the same rate. My “old” skills were not enough anymore. I could no longer block shots like Shaq or pass with ease like Magic. My dad kept saying, “Don’t worry your time will come, I didn’t stop growing until college.” I needed to figure out how to become better right now.
The answer came in the form of a now famous story my dad tells (maybe all too often). The year was 1974 and my dad barely made the cut as a junior on the varsity basketball team. He was the 12th man, last on the bench. My dad began working his tail off to become better, and even the best. Half way through the season, his hard work paid off, he was given the job as starting point guard. To make a long story short, he led Fordson High School to the semifinals of the state tournament. Along the way, he happened to guard Magic Johnson in the quarterfinals, and beat him. I hear the story all too often. Realizing the underlying theme I started to put in the effort, shooting daily in my driveway, hoping my practice would pay the same dividends. I practiced for hours on end. Although I still was not the best, my hard work was slowly closing the gap between me and the natural talent of those around me. Currently, I am the 12th/11th man on the Varsity basketball team as a junior, following in my dad’s footsteps? I don’t know, but it will require some time and effort.
Success is by no means only present in the athletic world, but in everything around us. From the office cubicle to college campuses across the nation, everybody is looking for it. Nothing in life comes easy, you must earn what you want, and that is done with hard work. A college degree does not come from lying on the couch attempting to watch every college football game possible. A promotion does not come from taking coffee breaks every 2 minutes, life requires putting in the extra hours.
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