Hard Work Doesn’t Always Pay Off
You should be able to control the outcomes of your life by working hard. Pulling all-nighters, taking all of the most challenging classes that your high school offers, getting perfect, or near-perfect grades, scoring incredibly well on your SAT’s/ACT’s and participating in outstanding extracurricular activities. This should provide you acceptance to that dream school you are applying to. And when it doesn’t, you are devastated. How could this be?
Life Isn’t Always Fair
A recent article I read in Time Magazine titled “Tell kids the truth: hard work doesn’t always pay off” by Rachel Simmons, resonated with me as I think about the many students I work with. A few quotes below encapsulate how many of these hard-working students feel:
“When they win, they feel powerful and smart. When they fall short….they are crushed by self- blame.”
“Among the most privileged…a false promise that they can achieve anything if they are willing to work for it.”
Here is the reality. You can still do everything in your power and still “fail”. This is the harsh truth of life. It isn’t always fair.
“The college-admission game promises meritocracy that rewards hard work with entrance to the ivory tower, yet admissions scandals and ultra-thin acceptance rates make such a promise impossible to keep.”
You Can’t Control Every Outcome
So, what happens when all of our hard work doesn’t pay off? Know that you can’t control every outcome. Get back up, continue down your road, learn that life isn’t always fair, that you will not get everything you feel you are owed by all that you have put forth. Don’t give yourself a pass by not working hard.
On the contrary, continue having great work ethic, and doing what inspires and interests you. There will be tough times, but there will also be great and rewarding times that have paid off because of your hard work. As this article says “It’s often the people who learn to say “stuff happens” who get up the fastest.