Are You Pushing Hard Enough?

When I finished a semester, one of my students wrote me an email to talk about the semester and what he had learned. He is one of the members of our school’s baseball team and (in his email) he mentioned one thing we had talked about during the semester involving sports.

“You said that when we look at professional athletes, we automatically assume that they have put in countless hours of perfecting their craft to be where they're at now but, for some reason, the same generalization is not made about those who work in the higher levels of business. This statement was very true and I thought about it for a long time after class. I questioned my own efforts and settled on the fact that I had not previously been putting in the time to my studies that I should have been. I do not lack any work ethic in the athletic department, probably because it is what I love to do the most. A few hundred swings and hours in the weight room are no hassle to me. However, I could honestly say that during my freshman year, and during most of this past semester, I was doing enough to get by and do 'well enough’ but was I really pushing myself to become substantially better in the classroom? The answer was no- not at all.”

I thought that was such an interesting comment. Here was a young man of only about 19 who had really thought about how to become successful in school and realized that he was not doing what was necessary. Not many people take the time to have that degree of self-reflection.

There are a lot of football bowl games on television these days. Some of these teams are absolutely great and the players are superb. And, yes, my student is correct. We will look at those athletes and marvel at the hundreds and thousands of hours of practice they have put in to achieve that degree of success. No one gets to that level without a huge amount of personal sacrifice just in terms of work.

However, when we look at something like the CPA Exam and our own work, we tend to have a different attitude. Companies will advertise tricks and short cuts and we seem to believe those actually work. Passing the CPA Exam requires good materials, enough hours, and the ability to put those two things together. Materials + Hours =Pass

We believe the easiest way to pass this exam is to work good quality questions and read those answers carefully.

It is not the amount of money you spend that is important.

It is not the place where you went to college that is important.

It is not your grade point average that is important.

Materials + Hours = Pass

Sitting down and methodically working those questions, one after another, and carefully studying the answers is what counts.

The question is not: Can you do it? The question is: Will you do it?

No one gets into the Super Bowl or one of those college football bowls by luck. They get there by investing hundreds of hours of solid work over a long season. They get there by not losing heart. They get there by not losing confidence. They get there by not getting lazy. They get there by studying when other people are out partying. They get there by persevering.

Let’s get it done.

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