I often tell my children, “Nothing worth doing is easy.” I also say, “I like it because it’s hard” (or fussy, demanding, challenging, technical, etc.). The challenge makes the reward so much sweeter.

There’s a professor at our local university who has a reputation for being hard–really hard. And really, really good. The students who stop caring about their GPA, pluck up their courage, and take the class all say He changed my life.

That’s an insanely good recommendation. An excellent return on your tuition. Much better, long term, than your GPA.

Please note I’m not advocating hard for hard’s sake. I have little tolerance for pointless busywork. Or a hard class that is hard because the professor is incompetent.

I’m talking about a truth/goodness/beauty challenge that is known to be worth the effort to experience or acquire. Don’t shrink back from the blood, sweat, tears, and risk of failure. Many will dodge it. They’ll have their reasons. Ignore them and Go For It.

“Ms. Rapscott’s fingers rested lightly on her desk, which was clear except for a few textbooks….’This semester you will be taking a very difficult course.’ Her face broke into a smile because she loved it when things were very difficult…. The girls exchanged worried glances…. ‘You will be graded on the following: pluck, enthusiasm, spirit of adventure, brilliance, and self-reliance.'”

Elise Primavera, Ms. Rapscott’s Girls, 67, 69.