Monday, November 12, 2012

Hit or Quit

While there are always exceptions to generalities, I can safely say that a characteristic of our society today is that we aren't willing to work hard for the things we want. We seek immediate gratification and if we don't get it, then we walk away. If we are unable to hit our ideal the first time out or if something isn't easy for us, we simply quit. This reflects our cultural laziness, a wandering attention span, lack of work ethic, and an unwillingness to persevere.

This is reflected in relationships, jobs, learning new skills, leadership, and academics. It's modeled in giving awards for simply participating instead of setting a higher standard that gives people something to aim at. I'm not denying the need to affirm effort, but I am also advocating the need to realize when an effort has fallen short and adjustments need to be made. This provides an open opportunity for genuine improvement through setting goals and identifying the steps it will take to reach that higher plane. There is value in the struggle to succeed.

The truth is that no matter how talented or gifted you are, things will not always be easy. There will be seasons of failure and frustration. Our character will be revealed (and strengthened) in our willingness to evaluate, make adjustments, and put in the sweat equity to eventually succeed. This tenacity will leave a legacy for those that we lead that surpasses the "feel-good theology" of only doing the things that come easily to you. Disappointment can be a valuable teacher if we channel that into an investment of labor to improve.

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