Everything today is a click away. We shop online. We can look up how to do things on YouTube. And if we need maintenance on our roofs, bathrooms, electricity, or cars, we can go online and find the phone number of the nearest appropriate service company. If we want something built, such as a backyard pool or a porch, we call a business who will send people to do it for us.
Everything is simple. None of us really have to work hard to get these kinds of accommodations anymore. However, working hard to earn what you want and what you need can bring you to become more humble, appreciate the things you have and help you become more confident in basic life skills without feeling dependent on the internet or other people.
When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me the value of hard work. It took me forever to understand it. I never knew why they made me take the longer and harder route of getting things done when I could have easily gotten somebody else to do it. If I asked my dad what a word meant, he wouldn’t tell me. He wouldn’t even let me use Google. He would hand me a dictionary and make me find it.
I never got paid for the chores I was told to do, either. I did chores to “earn my keep” according to my parents. I only got paid for extra chores I did that weren’t on my To-Do list. I got some money for working hard in school, depending on how good my grades were. If I got bad grades, that money was deducted from the money I got for good grades. Except for birthdays and Christmas, my parents told me I had to buy my own toys.
When I bought my first car, my dad didn’t take it to a workshop right away. Instead, he ordered the parts we needed for a less expensive price, did the labor himself (with some of my help), and saved around a thousand dollars just because he was willing to put in the work himself. This also gave me an opportunity to learn how to maintain my own car, as I watched him spend hours replacing parts.
We lived overseas in Nepal during some of my middle school years, and in Nepal, having people clean your house for you was a very normal thing. In fact, by hiring local cleaning maids, you were giving them a job opportunity that almost nobody in the country had. However, even though they would clean the house, my parents would tell me that the maid would not be allowed to clean my room. They weren’t to touch it. Instead, I would clean my room, and I would be expected to do normal chores, as well. If my work wasn’t good enough, I wouldn’t be allowed to play until it was to my parents’ satisfaction.
As I did this throughout my years of living at home, I was able to learn how to properly finish a task at hand, and I knew how to do it well, as I had set a standard as to how my tasks should be completed at a young age. As I started working on my own career, I have almost never had manager or employer send me to back to do a better job they had required me to do.
My college transition was a lot easier because of my work ethic as well. I knew how to pick up after myself, which made living with my roommates easier, especially living in a military barracks where uncleanliness is punishable. I knew how to save up my money and sacrifice things I really wanted in order to pay for textbooks and living expenses, and I knew how to do a lot of things without the help of the internet all because my parents had simply taken the time to encourage me to do it myself before looking for help.
All of these things that made me work for my money never made sense to me when I was a kid. However, as I grew up and made my way into the world that existed outside of my own home, I finally realized the value of hard work. The kids I knew that were simply given what they asked for, usually expected more, and were less likely to take good care of it. As I worked hard for the things I wanted, I appreciated them greatly. I was more careful about who I lent my things to, where I left them, and how I maintained them. When I was given something that I didn’t pay for myself (especially when it was something I needed), I was much more thankful for the gift; knowing how much work it saved me, since I didn’t have to save up for the item myself. Working to pay for the things I needed and wanted made me more aware of how I spent my money. My priorities changed and I knew what things had to come first and what things I didn’t actually need.
Working hard to earn the things you need and want is a priceless and irreplaceable experience. Not only do you gain a greater appreciation for the things you have and the things people do for you, but you also learn a great deal about yourself and what your capabilities are. Being confident in your skill without relying on the internet or people with more experience, can bring you miles ahead of your peers, and give you a head start as you begin living on your own.