the misfit of mind and grit

The thing about hard work is that it’s hard. No matter what motivational speech you listen to, no matter how large your desire, no matter how grand your goal– giving your all isn’t something that’s easy. If you have to stop and wonder, “Am I giving my best effort?”, you probably aren’t. Living to the fullest of your potential isn’t a passive activity. It’s a choice you make, over and over and over again. It’s a choice that will always be hard, but it is a choice that will always be the right one.

Hard work often seems like a good, but useless phrase. If someone is a ‘hard worker’ usually it gets translated to, “They aren’t smart, but they get the job done”. There’s a line of thought which follows, if you are smart enough, you will hardly work, so if you’re working hard, you might not be the brightest spoon in the silverware drawer. Hard work and perseverance are placed in contention with intelligence and natural brilliance. However, this line of reasoning can become easily convoluted in a manner of ways. For one, intelligence is partly innate, but can also be developed to a great degree through hard work. Second of all, you can be the most intelligent being on planet Earth, but if you can’t stick with something, that potential will never be realized. Furthermore, there are plenty of people who are both intelligent and hard working. It’s not a paradox, they are traits that help guide a person to the best of their ability.

The thing about intelligence is that it can only take you so far. There comes a point where one’s IQ can’t be raised much higher. Endurance and grit are far more helpful traits in the real world. Even if things don’t come easily to you, learning how to achieve goals through the hardships is far more practical than the person who never has to try. At some point, we all experience obstacles we can’t bluff through with innate intellectual guesses. The difference then lies between the person who will keep going, and those who will give up. Hard work is hard! It’s horrible! You have to be uncomfortable and be uncomfortable constantly! However, if you’re always feeling safe and well put together, how are you truly living? No matter what path you take, there will be difficulties. The difference is that by living to your full potential, by taking the risks and working hard, you are building your character to be better fit against any future calamity.

So just do the hard, right thing. Don’t live life making excuses, because that’s not really living life at all.

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