Life is a hustle. I’m aware that this statement sounds like it belongs in a hip hop lyric but life is indeed a hustle. Harvard graduate, Afam Nduaguba who juggled two jobs sustaining his family; alongside attending community college understood this. His family moved to the United States when he was 16 and he pursued education relentlessly despite various trials and tribulations. Fast forward a few years and Afam will be starting his residency at Yale University.
There’s a lot to learn about Afam’s story but being the ‘want it now’, ‘microwave’ generation we will most probably skip the intro and go straight to the success, because that is just what we do. Previous generations were characterised by how hard they toiled for everything they attained and we will be characterised by our self – entitlement. If self-entitlement were currency then we would all be rich but self- entitlement will never translate to anything tangible but will actually breed complacency, which is the antithesis to hard work. However, we are so busy looking for quick fixes that we neglect to see the beauty in endurance and the honour in labour.
There are several quotations that come to mind on the subject of hard work but the two that resonate with our generation are: All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today and “to be a champion, I think you have to see the big picture. It’s not about winning and losing; it’s about every day hard work and about thriving on a challenge. It’s about embracing the pain that you’ll experience at the end of a race and not being afraid. I think people think too hard and get afraid of a certain challenge.” The former is a quotation by Pope Paul VI and the latter by Summer Saunders but both paint a similar picture of hard work and our propensity to run from it. Hard work is a feature of life and so not having the courage to face the challenges as they arise will only lead to stagnation, disappointment and regret.
If fear cripples us, then we need to have more faith, if the thought of failure is too overwhelming then we need to see failure as a learning curve, a pit stop as opposed to a final destination. Afam had the courage to face every challenge as they came and re – routed where necessary because he knew failure was not a final destination.
View the rest of Afam’s story here
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