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"Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It follows hard work. It doesn't come before." ~ Shelby Steele

Being a senior in high school, I can definitely relate to other teens when they say, "Dude, I have no idea where I'm headed in life!" or "I doubt all this hard work is getting me anywhere."

As we've all already been told, it's perfectly normal to feel this way! Know why? Because life is full of uncertainty. You just take a leap of faith and move forward anyway. And, this is just the first step toward our future careers! There will undoubtedly be difficult times, because when have great things ever come easily to anyone? But it has been rightly said, "Never give up on something you want. It's difficult to wait, but it's more difficult to regret."

Resilience, passion, focus, and hard work can take you to unimaginable heights. Just take a look at the innumerable success stories of prominent businessmen, actors, and singers who followed the same mantra to achieve success in life.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the biggest names in Hollywood, was a poor kid growing up on the outskirts of LA and witnessed great poverty, violence, and drug use at a young age, which now allows him to portray the darker side of humanity in his films.

  • Ralph Lauren, the founder of the company named after him and the youngest son of Jewish immigrants, always dreamt of being rich and successful and even wrote "millionaire" as one of his greatest life goals in his high school yearbook. Look how that turned out!

  • Oprah Winfrey, a black woman who became a millionaire at the age of 32, was abused and molested at a very young and delicate age. She even gave birth to and lost a child at the age of 14. However, her determination and intelligence earned her a college scholarship, the launch of her own talk show, and numerous other accomplishments, making her one of the wealthiest black women in the world. Truly an inspiration!

  • Steve Jobs, the founder of the renowned company Apple, was adopted by his foster parents, who sparked his interest in electronics but couldn't afford to pay for his college, thus causing him to drop out and work at video game manufacturing company Atari, soon, leading to the founding of Apple.

I can't begin to cite the umpteen number of people who inspire me, which is why I hope that you find these famous people and their struggles and successes as the answer to my question. Yes, as the name suggests, hard work is hard, but the sweet outcome is always to be savored. So, in my opinion, hard work is definitely worth it.

I know the feeling of frustration or annoyance when somebody tells you to focus more or not to worry a lot about your future. But what's the point of constantly torturing yourself with thoughts about the unknown? So, it isn't wise to dump your frustration on your well-wishers, whose constant support can help you achieve anything you want in the world, however unbelievable it may seem to you. Find strength and motivation in the people you look up to or love for tough tasks, and success will undoubtedly follow.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Comment below to let me know if my ideas about hard work are correct or incorrect!

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