Today’s concept of work-life is shifting away from a healthy balance towards the ideals of productivity, capacity, and achievement. These ideals exemplify what many of us are aiming for: success. In this concept shift, which exists especially in the U.S.’s marketplace, the ideals point directly at the relationship between grit and success. Grit can be defined as a quality that is marked by “determination despite difficulty.” The idea of grit is associated with one’s willingness to tolerate grievances while exerting effort in order to meet their ends. Grit can only be established when one sincerely desires a better outcome than what they can currently expect in a situation, for every situation that applies. And with this realization comes a commitment to changing oneself to pursue these better outcomes, which is coupled with an organized plan to execute this self-improvement. But don’t be fooled— although grit does not guarantee success, success still requires grit.
Working hard does not mean one cannot work “smart.” Those who work hard can still be unsure if their hard work will materialize into tangible progress. Some people lay the burden of future success on their college education; that somehow, obtaining a degree is the golden ticket to a desirable job. Unfortunately, this is a myth, as all college students are still expected to demonstrate achievement and a commitment to their career goals among other demanding expectations. This is where working “smart” plays an important role, where students plan their future by actively doing the relevant activities (depends on the field) that will nurture their growth and also serve well in their future plans.
Day by day, the glass ceiling that has contained minorities is gradually shattering. Yet by no means can America’s social structure by classified as a meritocracy. Social injustices persist, and the idea of fair and equal opportunities to all is insulting to those who are unable to climb out of the bottom of the U.S.’s stratified social structure. But those who recognize their difficulties, even when they are out of their control, should still be encouraged to overcome their barriers by persisting in hard work while finding creative solutions to reach their goals. Indeed, resourcefulness is a quality that enables hard workers to make meaningful progress that will serve them well in future endeavors. Successful people often have unique ways to build themselves up, which still requires hard work.
Benedictine University students have a plethora of opportunities for success that can be achieved through hard work, as the University and surrounding communities of the greater Chicago area are providing academic and career support to those who desire it. It is the responsibility of the students to embrace, not shy away from, these available opportunities to pursue their goals while establishing a strong footing in their future tracks.