The Benefits of Hard Work

Photo: Balanced Rock in Arches National Park.

I have always been a big fan of hard work and I believe there is no greater thing than hard work.  I was brought up in a household that required me to do chores on a daily basis and I learned a lot from these chores.  I learned that I needed to do them or I would get in trouble.  I learned about how much time it takes to keep a house clean.  I learned how much sweat is involved in weeding the garden and mowing the lawn.  These were all things that were taught to me by my parents.  I sometimes feel that our society is losing the hard work gene.  Our ancestors and founders fought for our freedom through lots of hard work and they knew how important their freedom was, so they continued to work hard for the rest of their life.

One of the best ways to learn about hard work is through jobs and athletics.  In high school, I played football and worked at a restaurant.  These two things kept me busy and I had to find time to get my school work done at the same time.  Currently, I teach 7th and 8th grade math and I also coach.  This year, I had one of the hardest working groups of basketball players.  These players could have given up earlier in the year, but they didn't.  The following story is the story of my basketball team this year and how hard work and perseverance can pay off.

Success is a thing that is highly scrutinized in the athletic realm.  I have coached every year that I have taught and some of the greatest successes that you can have as a coach are improvement over the course of the year.  This season, my basketball team was full of a bunch of hard working players that did everything I asked.  In the second game of the season, we lost to our rival 40-8.  My team was determined to not let this happen again and they came to practice day in and day out with the mindset of getting better.  Over the course of the season, my players got better and continued to gel as a team.  The last game of the season was a rematch against our rival.  My team gave everything that they had and lost on a last second shot 33-31.  Not every success will end up with a happy ending, but I told my players that I was so proud of them because they turned a 32 point loss at the beginning of the year into a near victory.  In my book, that is success through perseverance and hard work.

I wrote the above story for an application and I felt like it fit in this article very well.  Even though my team lost that final game, we still improved and played with a team that destroyed us in the second game of the season.  I was also proud that my team never gave up and worked every day to get better.  My players learned something this year that they will never forget and I hope they take this lesson that they learned to help them develop into fine young men. 

We can take this lesson of hard work and connect it to anything in our lives.  Everybody needs to work at their marriages to make them successful.  Professional athletes become successful after years and years of practice.  Any professional only becomes successful when they have years and years of practice at something.  Anything good in life comes with hard work.  The same thing can be said about financial success.  You have to work hard for your financial success and this can be proven by Thomas Stanley, author of the millionaire next door.  In this book, he found that 80% of the millionaires are first generation millionaires and they did not inherit any of their wealth.  They earned it, they worked for it and built it.

Anyone can become a millionaire by just working hard at controlling your money.  Your money will not control itself.  You have to take the time and the work to control your money.  There was a time in my life where I hit rock bottom and this was because I never kept a good eye on my finances.  That's why I suggest keeping track of your finances.  By keeping track of your finances, you are working towards controlling your money.  That's a start to becoming successful with money (and eventually a millionaire).

Becoming successful with money is not just about tracking it.  It is also important to work hard and bring in an income.  If you are struggling financially, then go find a second job and start throwing extra money at your debt.  If you can pick up overtime, then go grab that overtime and start making extra money.  If you are out of work, then you need to get to work.  Find a job somewhere and start making some money.

In my experience, good things come to people who work hard and are diligent with their money.  The bible specifically talks about this.

“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.”
— Proverbs 12:24
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. The wealth of the wise is their crown, but the folly of fools yields folly.”
— Proverbs 14:23-24
“A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.”
— Proverbs 28: 19-20

All three of the bible versus speak to the importance of working hard and you will be rewarded.  Today, we are rewarded with an income.  These rewards help us pay for food, shelter, utilities, entertainment and even use some of it for savings.  This is why I work hard at my job.  It is my duty as a Christian man to work my hardest and then I will use the rewards for my family and God's Kingdom.  I also believe that good things will happen to hard workers.  Hard workers tend to get promotions and tend to get raises.  So, instead of complaining about what you don't have in life, just start working hard and focus on getting your finances in order.  A person who does these two things will be blessed with many rewards.