Today was the first day of a new school year. Students made their way through the hallways frantically trying to get to class. An uneasy look was on their faces like those of recruits getting off the bus at Basic Training.
My school’s mission statement has three pillars: rigor, content rich, and college prep. Students come to this school by choice though they know it will be difficult. Why do they embrace the pain they will encounter for the next nine months?
It’s the same reasons someone signs up for the Marines. Simply stated, nothing worth doing right is easy. Looking at my students and Soldiers, I see two ways they make pain their friend to achieve their life goals.
1) Understand that pain is temporary:
Students and Soldiers understand that pain is temporary. Each class only lasts an hour. The push-ups end at some point. They know that graduation will come eventually, and that their hard work will pay off in the long run. They will enter the college or specialty of their choice with more opportunities than if they took the easy route.
By understanding the temporary nature of pain, they overcome the difficulties associated with it.
[shareable cite=”Robby Miles”]Nothing worth doing right is easy![/shareable]
2) You’re stronger than most people think (including yourself):
Students put up with a lot from adults. We honestly need to give them more credit. They balance difficult schedules and meet the varied demands of different teachers, parents, and coaches all while trying to build the knowledge base to be successful in life after school. They are tough when it comes to gritting through boring lectures and seemingly pointless homework.
Soldiers bodies can are tough. The brain usually gives up before the body. Tough physical or mental training builds grit. This grit and determination becomes an asset as they enter the next phase of life.
I say we acknowledge how slogging through the pains daily struggles only strengthens our character. My Officer Candidate Class had a motto: Strong Through the Forge. Time to use our pain to mold our identities.