Put in the Work

It is an every day battle in my classroom.  When I give an assignment, more than one student will spend less than five minutes on it and then come up to my desk and demand to know, “Is this good?”  The answer is normally a resounding no, because the student has clearly not put in the work.  It continues with the response of the student, “But I did it.”


Undoubtedly, they are a little unclear on the concept.  Just because you spent five whole minutes on it does not make it quality work; it is simply putting in minimal time.  It is putting in the work that makes all of the difference.

Let’s face it – we live in a world of instant gratification.  ATM’s will spit out money any time of the day and night, pizza places will deliver at your whim, and if all else fails…google it…on any number of electronic devices at your fingertips.  Working, really working, for something seems to have become a bit of a foreign concept.

But anything worth doing is worth putting in the work.  And I mean real work.

January is coming, and with it will be a slew of new resolutions to lose weight, exercise, become more organized, and so forth.  Some of those resolutions will be done with in less than a week because there are no instantaneous results for those, and people who tell you there can be are simply selling something.  Learning and change require you to put in the work.  You cannot expect to put in minimal work and get maximum results.  That is the stuff of infomercials.

I’ve spent two years in Crossfit, and am pretty good about being there three to five days a week.  I run a few days a week as well.    I put in the work.  And I am seeing results – PR’s on lifts, much better times on my runs, and all sorts of little improvements here and there.  And is the work worth it?  Absolutely.

My son’s classes have started to really put some demands on him, and he is truly having to be organized and put in some real time studying – sometimes six and seven hours a night.  It is a struggle for him to keep all of the plates spinning sometimes, but he is putting in the work.  He, too, is seeing the results in his grades.  Is the work worth it to him?  Absolutely.

Nothing comes easily.  It takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes dedication, determination.  It sometimes means starting all over and trying again.

It takes work.

But anything worth doing is worth putting in the work.

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