Why Hard Work Is Always Worth The Effort

Why Hard Work Is Always Worth The Effort

Even if the results aren't what you had hoped for, your effort can provide a valuable learning experience.
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Two weeks ago, I had two very different experiences following my own hard work. One of them was positive: I submitted the first draft of an essay for a scholarship I was hoping to apply to, and I was then approved to move on to the final round and apply for the scholarship. The other experience was negative: I completely blew an audition and wasn't cast as a result.

In both experiences, I had worked really, really hard. I had spent hours working on my essay, researching existing studies, conducting my own studies, and perfecting my writing. I had worked meticulously late into multiple nights reworking my essay. Similarly, I had prepared extensively for my audition. Every free moment I had, I practiced my audition song. It was a song I had sung for many auditions before. I was perfectly comfortable with it. I submitted my essay draft and a few days later received the news that I had been selected to move on to the final round. On the other hand, I completely tanked in my audition and probably gave one of the worst performances of my entire life. While one outcome reflected my efforts, the other outcome was nowhere even close to what I had hoped for.

In life, and especially in college, it is important to remember that sometimes, no matter how much you prepare and no matter how hard you try, you will not always get what you want. You will not always get the best grade, even when you think you have produced your best work. You will not always find an exam easy, even when you have been studying and preparing for weeks. You will not always give a successful audition, even when you are singing a song you have sung successfully a million times. In my opinion, we would all be better adapted to shortcomings, screw-ups, and downright failures if we accepted that life never promised to be fair. Yes, you might have worked hard at something and put in your all, but life doesn't owe you anything.

But that does not mean that all your hard work was for naught. Sure, the outcome was far from what you had hoped for or expected. But from hard work that doesn't give us the results we desire we can learn how to improve for the future. Failure even in the most ideal circumstances teaches us to step back and evaluate why things did not go as planned. We can ask ourselves, "What about my work was not satisfactory for the grade I expected?" "How did my studying fail to prepare me for the exam?" I know a question I have asked myself is, "How can I work to improve my performance during auditions?" In my failure, I have been able to take a step back and seriously evaluate the effect that my nerves have on my performance. I have also been able to realize that my ability to successfully audition for singing groups does not necessarily translate to successfully auditioning for a play or musical. I have talked with my friends who are more experienced in such auditions, and I have learned that different auditions require entirely different types of confidence, from the way you enter and exit the room to the way you carry yourself to the way you introduce yourself to the way you interact with the auditioners. I am working toward future success by learning and growing from my shortcoming.

Even if your hard work does not pan out the way you imagined, your efforts are always worth it. In your effort, you know that your failure is not for your lack of trying, but rather it is perhaps due to misdirected or misinformed trying. From this, you can grow from your mistakes and improve your hard work tactics for the future, allowing you to work steadily toward surefire success.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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4 Simple Things You Can Do For Your Health Starting Today

It doesn't have to be complicated.

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In college, it can be pretty difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students are on odd schedules between classes, homework, extracurriculars, social activities, and potentially sporting events as well. Plus, college students are on a tight budget, so it can be hard to justify buying a nutritious salad that's $5 more than a much less healthy meal. We know we should eat healthier... but it's tough.

Still, there are easy ways for you to live a little bit healthier. Healthcare services are not cheap and the best way to keep these costs down (now and in the future) is prevention. This means taking steps to prevent health issues from coming up later down the line. Ideally, we'd all eat perfectly nutritious diets, never drink anything bad, work out every week, and sleep as much as needed. Realistically, this is probably not going to happen, but here are four steps you can take today to help yourself be healthier.

1. Go for a walk around the block each night after dinner.

Exercise doesn't have to be super intensive or super long -- the most important thing is that you're doing something. This can be as simple as a short walk each day. So why not bake that into your routine? Take 10 minutes each night -- that's all -- and walk around your block after dinner (or whatever time of day works for you). The after-meal stroll may help your body digest the food more easily after all.

2. Start pre-packing snacks for yourself.

Sometimes you just need to grab a snack on campus because you can't run home, but sadly this leaves few healthy or inexpensive options. Typically it's unhealthy and expensive. To avoid situations like this, and to give yourself more healthful snacks, try pre-packing some over the weekend. This could be pretzels, an apple or orange, rice crackers, carrot sticks, or whatever else you enjoy. Your body and your wallet will thank you.

3. Choose at least one night each week where you’ll commit to getting a full 8 hours of sleep.

College students are known to be sleep deprived, and sadly it's a case where we generally can't help it. There's just a lot going on. However, one small step you can take to make sure you at least get some sleep is to choose one day each week where you'll commit to getting a full night's sleep. This might not be possible every single night, which would be ideal, but give yourself one day where you promise yourself you'll get a full 8 hours (or more!).

4. Carry a reusable water bottle and remind yourself to drink it throughout the day.

It seems like every event for students hands out t-shirts and water bottles, so chances are, you have quite a few reusable bottles laying around. Put whichever is your favorite to good use by carrying it around every day. This will remind you to drink water regularly, which is an important component of health. Plus, you might find yourself spending less on a soda here and an iced tea there.

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