There’s a memorable exchange in “The Lion King” movie where Pumbaa says that “Hakuna Matata” is their motto. Simba asks “What’s a motto?” and Timon replies “Nothing. What’s a motto with you?”
At some point after reciting that exchange about 100 times when the kids were little, we gradually adopted our family motto. It wasn’t like we took a vote or considered other options. It just was what it was. Out of both school and work, our family motto was born: “Work Hard, Play Hard.”
Ever since, we’ve used it to both encourage ourselves when the work DOES get hard (including lots of work travel or overwhelming college final exams) and to remember to reward ourselves and ENJOY those rewards because we deserve them (like a nap on a Sunday afternoon or a big family trip).
Our family motto is one of the few things we can always all agree on and we fall back on when we are separated by school and work and responsibilities. Work hard to achieve your goals. Work hard even when no one is watching. Work hard because it’s the right thing to do.
I always tell my kids that no matter what they do in their careers they will be successful because they are hard workers. They can start at the bottom and will eventually end up at the top because hard work pays off. Hopefully they will reap the rewards of that hard work as adults as well!