By Ashley Vang, St. Paul Harding High School
Sweat dripped down the faces and bodies of the 14 exhausted teen dancers and scattered onto the slippery hardwood floor. Several stifled yawns.
“Let’s do one more round, then we can go home, ladies,” leisurely said my captain. The group pushed through one last routine as the clock struck 12:30 a.m. It was hot and musty in the spacious basement studio at Sunrise Plaza in St. Paul. There were no windows to let in the cool breeze. Instead, a fan by the door wailed loudly, forcing us to turn the music up higher.
We were days away from the Minnesota Hmong New Year dance competition, an annual event that draws in as many as 60,000 people. At that point, we were eating, breathing and dreaming about dance. Our lives were already packed with homework, jobs and house chores, but we squeezed in practices, too. Our lower backs, knees, ankles and shoulders were strained and bruised. But instead of stopping, we massaged and iced them and pushed forward.
The night before our intense competition, we were at it again, practicing. While we rehearsed in our brown and maroon edgy-like fitted costumes, we cheered each other on. Cries of, “You can do it! Push through! Together, we got it girls!” filled the air. We reminded ourselves that there was a lot at stake. The money. The fame. The trophy. But most of all, we wanted to show people what we were capable of.
On the day of the competition, Hmong families crowded the massive arena in their finest traditional clothing adorned with coins that jingled and swished. Some people tossed a ball back and forth while flirting with other attendees. Others devoured some delicious, greasy Hmong food and sipped on sweet cold drinks. The vendors sold crispy fried egg rolls, and the scent of the spicy peppery papaya salad had my mouth watering.
Uneasily, I arrived in the backstage area and walked up to my teammates, who looked superb in their costumes. As we started preparing for the competition, my nerves were shot. My heart was about to burst from beating so fast. Pausing, I took a minute to remind myself of how profoundly dance has impacted my life.
Dance trained me to heartily motivate myself to unexpectedly be the champion I wished to present. Struggling to push through, doubting myself and my abilities, I leaned on others for support and to never give up. I mentally and physically felt stronger when I gained the self-confidence to express who I am and strengthened what I had planned for my future. “Dream. Believe. Achieve,” as I recall our dance slogan.
That evening at the 2016 Minnesota Hmong New Year dance competition, we were named champions. Hard work does pay off.
Ashley Vang, St. Paul Harding High School
Why Is Hard Work Necessary To Be Successful?
Success is about setting goals and achieving them. Such goals include losing weight, learning how to play an instrument, making profit in a business, and being the best in certain career among others. The secret of success, as many people will agree, is hard work.
Evidently, successful people are admired in the society. In many instances, they make headlines in the mainstream media. However, such people are not many in the society. Many people still struggle to achieve their goals in life. Others give up, all together, when they attempt without success to achieve their goals. Simply, many people are unable or unwilling to engage in hard work for them to be successful.
Is It Hard Work Or Smart Work?
Some individuals argue that an individual needs to be smart- and not hard working, for them to be successful. However, successful people narrate of instances when they did not want to pursue certain projects but pushed themselves to achieve their goals anyway. As a result, they were able to stand out amongst the crowd. Therefore, it is hard work, and not smart work that breeds success. In any case, most of the hard working and successful people are very smart.
Notably, many people give up when they do not feel like pursuing their goals or when they experience setbacks at the initial stages of a project. For instance, many people trying to lose weight may not see the results within the first few weeks of rigorous exercise and dieting. At this stage, unsuccessful people will give up. On the other hand, hardworking people try to find ways of solving some of the setbacks- instead of giving up. More so, they put in more effort even when they realize that have slim chances of winning.
Life Is Tough
Hard work and success go hand in hand because life is designed to be tough. Nothing is offered on a silver platter; which means that people have to keep trying to succeed. In actual sense, there are so many challenges in life that only hardworking people can overcome them. This explains why there are very few successful people in the world today.
Some of the things that one must do for them to be successful include going through the planning process and doing some training and research. One must also have the right attitude or mindset about their goals. Unless you work hard, it is impossible for one to engage in such things. If anything, many people would rather give up than try. Precisely, hard work is a necessity for an individual to be successful in life.