Hard Work: Lesson Learned From My Dad

This past weekend, my family was fortunate to celebrate my dad on two separate occasions: Father’s Day and an awards banquet. As many of you know, my dad was honored for being the Supplier of the Year by the Tennessee Grocers Association. While he is always the first to deflect all accolades and praise; it was truly a culmination of the hard work that he and his family have put in for Purity over the past 50+ years. His introduction took seemingly forever because the individual introducing him decided to read off all of his accomplishments and involvements with other organizations and nonprofits. For his speech, rather than elaborating on the success he has had, my dad read off a list of names of individuals from Purity that had served the company for 25+ years. He acknowledged to the large audience that it was these individuals’ hard work that made Purity the company that they are today, not himself or his dad or his dad’s dad. He also called of all us (family) up on stage to thank us for our support. Last, he thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all the blessings that he has showed to himself and our family. My dad showed everyone how to be honored yet still give credit and acknowledgement to everyone that deserves it.

Letting Me Learn on my Own

For better or worse, I have learned almost everything that I know from my dad. In addition to walking with the Lord, life lessons, sports, finances, business, and treating people with respect, my dad has taught me about hard work. He has always pushed me as far as I wanted to go, but never overstepped his bounds and pushed me too far. After my junior year of high school, my dad approached me after my final track meet. He said to me “Taylor, I want to support you in any way that I can. If you want to put in the work, I’ll help you to be an All-State caliber track athlete. If you don’t want to put in the work, I will support that too. You just let me know.” In the end, I decided to be slightly lazy and not push myself to my full limits. My senior year, my relay team finished 5th in the State 4×200 relay, but I did not qualify for any individual events, finishing 3rd in the Region in the 110m hurdles and 8th in the 200 meter. If my dad would have pushed me, I would have likely been to State for all three events, but he knew that it was not his battle to fight. I had to learn how to work hard on my own. Eventually, he wouldn’t be there to push me, and I would fall back if I didn’t learn on my own. I have slowly learned some of these valuable lessons about hard work.

New Balance

My dad openly criticizes himself as being a workaholic. While there are hints of this, I can gladly say that he is not one. I’ve seen and experienced workaholics. Workaholics draw their energy and worth from their jobs. They miss out on important life events with family and friends due to their work. They never leave work at the office and are always bringing it up in conversations. None of those things depict my father. He has always been at my games/meets, chorus performances, Singarama show, birthdays, and other important life occasions. I can see that his joy comes from the Lord, his family, and his close friends. I have seen this balance firsthand, and it makes me want to exemplify this in my own life. At one point, I was working full-time, studying for the CPA, leading a house church, and serving as the president of a fraternity. These commitments took up seemingly every hour of my day and I realized that I was probably doing too much. I was working too hard. I didn’t have enough time in the day to be with my wife (fiance at the time), family, and friends. My balance was all out of whack. I have tried to learn from my dad that while you can push yourself, you cant do it ALL. Eventually, you have to say no to a few things to make time for the most important things.

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

One of the most beautiful (but also terrifying) things about life is that we only get one shot at it. God purposefully decided to give us one chance instead of 100 lives. If we had 100 lives, we wouldn’t live each one to fullest, knowing that we could do it all over again if we messed up our previous one. Since we know that we are finite, why don’t we make the most of our opportunities? Why aren’t we striving to be better? Why would we ever not work as hard as we can at everything we do? This does not mean that we overwork and live miserable lives. That we should never take vacations or relax on the weekends.  It means that we should always be pushing, striving, stretching, reaching, and trying be better than the day before. Each day on Earth is an opportunity to do amazing things. Don’t sell yourself short and I’ll do my best to do the same. Luckily, I have learned from one of the best. He’ll never know how much I appreciate everything he has taught me, but hopefully this will give a glimpse into the lessons I learned from him. Happy Father’s Day Dad, you’re the best.

Quotes About Hard Work

“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.”

-Colossians 3:22-25 The Message

Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.

-Ecclesiastes 9:8-10 The Message

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.  –Beverly Sills

Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price. –Vince Lombardi

I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true – hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it. -Ray Bradbury

Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy. -Robert Half

If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it’s the best possible substitute for it. –James A. Garfield

No one ever drowned in sweat. –United States Marine Corps