Thursday, March 18, 2010

90 % Perspiration

Lest you get the wrong idea from our posts on following your dreams and divergent thinkers, it might be a good idea to remind those little Thomas Edisons in your home of one of his most famous quotes. He said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

In other words, your dream will take some diligence and old-fashioned hard work. Elbow grease, as my parents used to call it.

We live in a microwave society. Everyone wants instant potatoes, instant messages, and even instant books downloaded on their Kindles. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the new Kindle my kids gave me for Christmas!) But we face a difficult task in bringing up kids in this on-the-spot society. Does it condition them to expect everything at the push of a button?

We see this attitude carried over into other aspects of our lives. Kids who want a place on the starting five of a basketball team but haven’t put in the hours (no, years) of practice. Give me my game time, and give it now. Never mind the senior who’s put in six to eight years of work to get where he is. Could it even be something that’s led to the “entitlement” mentality of our society that seeks redistribution of wealth? It’s an attitude of “I turned up so I deserve it.” Never mind the hard work of others.

Dreams do not come to fruition by snapping our fingers. Your little Edison will need a good dose of hard work, or perspiration. We can begin by teaching this in little things at home, the old “no work, no play” ethic. Provide opportunities at home where they can see that hard work pays off. Help them learn than instant gratification often runs shallow.

The God-inspired dreams that are worth pursuing will require loving Him with all our energy.  

Thomas Edison also said, “Great ideas originate in the muscles.” You might need to move some lessons in diligence to the top of your curriculum.

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