This I Believe

Nazzy - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on September 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in my family motto, work hard, play harder. As an immigrant family that has twice been on the brink of bankruptcy there have been plenty of times where we have had to work hard. All of us taking jobs and cutting corners to save money, but we never stopped playing. In fact it was in the most difficult times that we made the greatest efforts to find and foster joy.

I believe in working hard, putting in long hours at the office, in school, in study, and in my relationships. But I will never work so hard that I will not have the time or energy for fun. I am a perpetual B student, I learn the material, and I do the work, but I also put down my books at a certain point and go play. I believe in playing with more passion and intensity then I work.

In college I refused to buy textbooks and went instead to the library for a whole year in order to save enough money to go skydiving. It was extra work, going to the library every day to complete the assignments, but it wasn’t nearly as hard or as fun jumping out of an airplane. I worked hard, but I played harder.

It is easy to get lost in the expectations of work and the desire for more material possessions, but my belief in my family motto keeps me in check. I ask myself, “Am I working hard? Am I playing harder?”. My family motto keeps from being lazy and losing site of my goals at work but it also keeps me aware of the last time I smiled so much that my cheeks hurt.

My family and I are successful people, we all have and continue to work hard. But if you put the four of us in a room, an architect, an economist, an engineer, and a scientist, what would stand out to you is not our wealth or our education but how often we laugh and the number of stories we have to tell.