“People leave such advantages as these with reluctance. They love the reward of their hardships, but curse the hardships themselves.” – Seneca
Hard work pays off. We hear it so much that it has become one of the most over used cliches we encounter. And it is backwards. The reward that comes with the struggle is one part of it but it isn’t the most important part. Because the thing about the struggle, it’s the same as the thing about perseverance or tenacity. When we are being tenacious we don’t feel tenacious, we feel miserable. In some cases we are actually suffering.
But the suffering, the misery, that is what changes us, it makes us stronger, it helps us to endure more the next time. And this makes us better at doing the hard things in life that no one wants to do. Being better at struggling keeps us calm under pressure, and confident when things start to get away from us. We know how much we can handle, and we know that we can likely learn to handle more than we currently do.
So the next time we are thinking about the reward we will get for our hard work, we should remind ourselves to focus on the moment and enjoy the difficulty of the task we are undertaking. Because hard work makes us better at dealing with difficulty. And dealing with difficulty makes us better people.
virtus fortis vocat