There was a study done in 2007 that took 400 New York 5th graders and put them to the test, literally. Each child was given an IQ test. When the test was complete each child was told their score along with one of two lines of praise. One set of children were told that they are ‘smart’ the other set of children were told ‘we can see how hard you worked on this’.
A few months later the children were tested again, but this time they were given a choice. Take an easy test or take a hard test. The majority of the children who were told they are ‘smart’ choose the easy test. The children who were told ‘you worked hard’ choose the harder test.
Another few months went by and every child was given a hard test. The children who were told they are ‘smart’ did not do well. The children who were told ‘you worked hard’ did very well, and some even said it was their favorite test of all.
At last the children were given the same test they took the first time around. Many of the children who were labeled ‘smart’ did worse on the same test the second time around.
So what does this all mean? My conclusion, it’s not about brain power. It’s about how hard you work for what you want out of life. The kids who were told ‘you worked hard’ had the inclination to work harder. The kids were labeled as ‘smart’ gave up the first time they didn’t live up to the label.
Finding your dreams isn’t about what talents or natural skills you do or do not have. It is about how hard you work to improve your skills.
Think about what your dream is in life. Maybe you want to retire early, or become an artist, or own a business, or just create something that makes you happy. The fact of the matter is, not a single one of the goals can be achieved without hard work.
Let’s take the ‘retire early’ example and run. How many of us want to retire early? I’m sure everyone is raising their hands right now. How many of us have looked at the logistics it would take to get there? Now how many of us are willing to put in the hard work it will take to actually achieve that? Guessing by the amount of people I know who have retired early (which is none) I can’t imagine many people who are willing to work for that.
But, but, but…. I hear you saying. I know, but I don’t have the skills to ever make enough money to retire early. Maybe it’s not about making money, but about saving money. It may require the sacrifice of living in a dump and eating beans and rice and driving a car that you can pay cash for. How much money can you free up to invest in your future and how much would it change your life?
If you really want something, you need to work for it. There is no easy road or opportunity in life. Very few people win the lottery and those who do often spend themselves right back into debt. Work hard, never give up, and believe in yourself. Soon you’ll find all of your dreams will come true.