Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Word of the Day: Industriousness


NOUN. Constant, energetic, or devoted effort. Habitual and diligent occupation with productive activity. Example: You will never see a beaver in action, but you will see the evidence of his industriousness. 

During my workout today, I thought a great deal about the word industriousness. No quality in my Greek students is more important than this one.

Successful students aren't necessarily the most gifted ones, but they are extremely competent and industrious. 

Being industrious includes efficiency, perseverance, and a strong work ethic.

Nobody is born with these traits. You must develop them. 

Eventually you learn to manage your time wisely, plan in advance, prioritize important tasks, and take steps to meet your goals. 

As you know, I have the goal of climbing the Allalinhorn in August. Behind every one of my workouts is a vision of a mountain. 

It is that vision that keeps me going. 

I will decide in March if I think I am ready to take on this enormous challenge. If I think I'm prepared, I will go and try. If I fail to reach my goal, I will accept that. I fully realize there's always the chance that I won't make it to the top. But if that happens, it won't be because I wasn't prepared. 

Mountaineering is an exciting, inspiring, challenging, and rewarding experience. In a perfect world where everyone is blessed with an amazing physique and rippling muscles, I would have no reservations about trying to tackle such an audacious goal. But one of the things I love about mountain climbing (and about marathons and triathlons and ultramarathons) is the adventure of never knowing what is going to happen. Results are not guaranteed. You never know how things will turn out until you muster up enough gumption to try. I love that uncertainty because it forces you to develop traits like industriousness. In five years, you won't care about the mountains you summited or the races you finished. (Certainly nobody else cares about them.) What will stick with you five years later are the ways you grew as a person. 

Friend, challenge yourself to do something big in the New Year. You are capable of doing so much more than you know. It's okay to be scared. Take a step beyond what is comfortable. Do something your grandkids will brag about. Show them what it means to be an industrious person. Inspire them to think about what they would like to accomplish if they had no limits. Then challenge them to DO IT. Remind them of the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, who said, "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, then to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat." 

Industriousness is a trait that can't be bought. But it is priceless.