Success in life comes from repeated hard work and perseverance; it does not come instantly. For me, this hard work comes in the form of the relentless assault of homework; while completed each day it manifests into a new shape. The seemingly pointless assignments are assigned regularly, such as reading about an obscure battle in the Civil War or trigonometry virtually guaranteed to have no real use in life. After I spend a few hours completing them, they are turned in, looked over, and graded in all but five seconds by the teacher, then assigned a blanket check mark regardless of their quality. It often seems futile and pointless, why even bother? I often feel the temptation is to skim over and only complete the minimum, until I remember the real purpose of it. It is in reality a series of small steps to help prepare for tests, and in a larger sense, life. Each assignment might pose only one question on the test, and while it might not seem worthwhile to complete it, it adds up to a bigger goal. It also creates good work habit and perseverance, qualities that cannot be formed overnight. The quality put into the assignments in reality effects your overall success. Had I just tried to take final exams without completing such assignments it would be formidable little chance of success. Only with a series of smaller insignificant and menial tasks can my ultimate goal be achieved. This analogy works in everyday life. Rarely can great barriers be overcome in a day. Instead, I smash them into a smaller and more manageable size, and work progressively to overcome them all, as each smaller barrier propels you that much closer to the finish. Qualities such as dedication and perseverance allow me to continue my tasks, even when the goal seems far little incentive exits. Incidentally, I have found that such attributes are themselves formed over time, so the closer I am to achieving success the easier it becomes. By the time it is finally conquered, new obstacles appear, and the process repeats itself. Success is not in the end measured by what you have done, but rather how you went about doing it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.