Hard Work Pays

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

I was never academically good in college. I spent more time actively working for the student government and writing for the school paper and, for a year or two, I played for the school’s varsity team (tuition fee was only one peso a semester for varsity players).  I also held a fulltime job – I was a DJ in a music station with working hours that required me to be there as early as 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. and as late as 12 midnight. I went to school in between.  Understandably, it took me six years to finish college and I barely passed the CPA board exams.  So I consider it a miracle (or a mistake) when my school invited me to teach accounting.

It was therefore not surprising that when I started teaching, I had zero knowledge of what I was supposed to do and just enough (but not a lot) of what to teach.  In the first few years of my teaching, I also had tough luck: my first boss wanted to help but didn’t know how to (she was not a CPA), the next boss wanted to help but was always sick, the third boss wasn’t any help at all.  I was practically left to my own devices.  There were no such things as solutions manuals (if there were any, then I missed them because I didn’t get any until the late, late 90s) and the internet.  But there was one thing going for me: I worked hard.

I burned the midnight candle reading and re-reading my book, solving and resolving the problems, practicing my lectures over and over again.  It was really, really hard work.

Oftentimes, when I face a lot of problems and am tempted to give up, I look back to those days.  Thank God I went through them because now it seems nothing can get harder.  I can always get by if I work hard. 🙂

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