【Weekly Post】effort, pain, difficulty…
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” - Theodore Roosevelt
“Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” - Philip Stanhope
These quotes mean a lot to my philosophy on work. I try to pass this philosophy on to my students, and the members at YTJ as well.
For dance I have expended great effort to become a better dancer than I was in previous classes. I have felt the pain of blisters, knee injuries, twisted ankles, and general exhaustion. I have fought through difficulties socially, mentally, and physically to reach my goals of becoming the best dancer I could be. I loved every moment of it! It was, and is something worth doing.
The truth is, things that come very easy, and take little effort are easily forgotten. The time that it takes to attach them to your life is too small to make a genuine impression on you. Who really remembers brushing their teeth. I mean the experience of brushing your teeth takes little effort, and often you may do other things during the experience, but you don’t remember so vividly the experience. It's because it takes little effort and we don’t really offer more than passive thoughts toward the experience, and unless something traumatic happens(bleeding, toothache) we rarely really remember it.
When I dance, I bring many years of learning from mistakes, training my muscles in the correct techniques, and relentless practice to bear in order to make my movements look effortless, although they are by no means. And it was all of that “suffering” that made it worthwhile, all that effort that made it fun, and all of the difficulty that made it beautiful to me.
My older brother received guitar lessons when we were younger, and he had a great teacher that taught him all about the guitar, but he no longer plays. He doesn’t even own a guitar. In fact, when I wanted to learn to play the guitar I inherited his guitar. It had been sitting in the garage, and in Houston, this is murder on any wooden instrument. The humidity is extreme, and it makes the wood warp. Thus my first guitar was warped, and hard to keep in tune. At the time I wanted to play, our family had become much bigger, and there was no extra money for me to have guitar lessons, so I had to teach myself the guitar. It took great effort, and I believe because of the effort it cost me, the value of it was greater for me.
I try to pass on to the members, that working hard to improve your abilities at anything can be fun. I try to show them by example that the effort itself can be fun and rewarding. Even if they grow up and never dance again, I hope they can take with them the lesson that effort for a goal that you think is worthwhile can be the “most” fun, and the reward is much more beautiful, because of the effort.
Sterling Ramsey 2021.4.15