Working Hard vs. Hardly Working

Many people believe that successful figures must be intelligent, confident, and creative, but some omit the necessity for a strong work ethic. In our society, people specifically associate great leaders with intelligence, but they sometimes fail to recognize the years of dedication and hard work those leaders have invested in order to become successful. Because society wrongfully believes that business executives and organization leaders do not work hard and simply delegate tasks to inferiors, some lose the motivation to work hard to achieve their own goals.

Not to mention, students are separated based on intelligence at school rather than work ethic or motivation, and assessments only display the academic progress of each student. Although superior intelligence seems to be the defining characteristic of success, I believe that a solid work ethic is more valuable than intellectual ability. For example, I have been successful in school, as I have earned a spot on the Distinguished Honor Roll for many marking periods. One of my most vivid memories, however, was when I won an academic scholarship in 8th grade. I remember that day like it was yesterday; it was the last day of school, and the whole day was dedicated to academic awards.

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Hundreds of students and their parents crowded the auditorium, including my parents and brothers. As the presenter approached the podium with the recipient of the scholarship in hand, my heart started to beat like a drum, and when he called my name, it nearly stopped. I walked up to the stage, shook the presenter’s hand, and embraced my family who met me on the stage. It was certainly one of the best moments of my life. However, I would not judge my success based on my intelligence.

I am not the smartest student. My IQ is not at a gifted level like many of my classmates, and I struggle with learning relatively new concepts. Instead, I rely on my work ethic and intrinsic motivation; I do homework for several hours each night and study constantly so that I can learn and be successful. While others much smarter than me choose to rely solely on their intelligence by not working hard, I outperform them on assessments simply because I complete assignments more diligently. Therefore, I have concluded that a hard-working, unintelligent person can be more successful than a lazy, intelligent person because a hard-working person can be trusted to complete the task at hand. This belief is important for those who claim they are not smart enough to be successful because they should realize their motivation and work ethic are more valuable.

However, it is also a message for those who have become lazy by relying on their intelligence; they should quickly correct their mistake and work harder. In other words, intelligence is not the only factor that determines success. As a society, we must stop focusing on a person’s intellectual ability so much and instead see his/her potential based on dedication towards success.