Hard is Good
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

A few months ago, I was in a coaching session with a Director of Special Education. When she mentioned a conversation she had just been in, we were talking about how students learn and how adults should approach their learning. A teacher had mentioned to her in a meeting that certain topics were hard for a student and suggested that maybe the student couldn’t learn it because it was hard for them, to which she replied, “hard is good”.

As a society, we have become soft. We don’t like to struggle with things, and think things should be easy. Self-propelled lawnmowers or, better yet, riding mowers. It’s almost impossible to find a car that can be purchased with a manual transmission, and if you do, you will pay more for that option. When you need to write something, just let ChatGPT do it for you. (Just for the record, none of my writings have ever been written by ChatGPT.) We don’t need to read books; just ask ChatGPT to give us a summary or outline.

I am not trying to cast negative aspersions on Artificial Intelligence, just that I think we have become lazy and don’t want to put in the effort to do things that in the past were normal, like investing our time in studying a topic and actually thinking our own thoughts. You have heard me say everything worthwhile is uphill. The problem is too many people have uphill dreams and downhill habits.

Hard is good because it proves we are learning something worthwhile. Quick, easy learning is soon forgotten, but when we learn something that is hard, we are growing into something bigger and better that will last a lifetime. Losing weight quick schemes or getting in shape without exercise just don’t work. Changing our lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising is hard, and guess what, it works! (I think I need to spend more time in this hard work area.)

The next time you are tempted to look for an easier way, or you start to feel bad when you see your kids working hard as they try to learn something meaningful, just remember, hard is good.