No substitute for hard work

16 May, 2008
Bringing up well-rounded individuals is all well and good, says Tony Phillips, but they could take some tips from the second-richest man in the world, when it comes to hard work
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I was once asked to speak at a school and have always regretted not saying what I truly felt and telling the kids what life is really like. If I had dared to do so, it might have gone something like this:
"Let's face it, life is not fair so we just have to accept that fact and get on with it."Your school may have done away with competitive sports or having winners or losers, but the real world has not. You do not keep getting another chance until you get it right; you are expected to pay attention and learn."Working in a fast food restaurant, for example, is not beneath your talents; it is a job opportunity, enabling you to get a foot on the rung of work and success.Accepting responsibility"Should you not make a success of your job, it is your fault, not the fault of your cruel boss or your Mum and Dad or whoever you wish to blame. You, alone, have to accept responsibility for your actions. Should you go out and drink too much at a nightclub and are then unable to get up in the morning, you alone are to blame."You may think your parents are old, dull, boring and do not understand your problems. Well, they probably got that way by looking after you, paying all your bills, clothing, feeding and giving you a home to live in."Sometimes, I feel this culture in school of making kids feel good about themselves, as well as this obsession with political correctness, does the young a huge disservice. In my opinion, we are are producing a generation of young many of whom have no concept of the real working world, which could result in many of them being doomed to failure. They deserve better. Had I been brave or stupid enough to have said this at the school that day, I would probably have been tarred and feathered, as the school would probably have said that it was trying to produce well-rounded individuals who realise there is more to life than work. That's all very well, but say there are more well-rounded individuals than there are workers, then who will keep, feed and house them?Many of the above comments are echoed from a speech given by Bill Gates in America, and I thought how true this was also of our young people in the UK.The perfect circle for happinessHard work gives you success, which in turn gives you enjoyment, which means you work harder because you are happy. So you end up with a perfect circle for happiness.After all, we spend the majority of our lives working and one of the most important things in life is to derive pleasure from work. Otherwise, life does not seem to hold a lot of meaning.



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