reproches

67

“Life should not be so tough”, he thought. However, for his sorrow, year after year, things become worst.
He was not the kind of person who blamed other ones for his matters. He was utterly aware things were worst by his fault. But, in the depth of his soul, he desired next year turned up better, or maybe the next one. Sometimes, he would think the world was not for people who committed failures. “That is very unfair”, he thought. He had always treated well people, and strive to not misjudge before knowing facts. He just expected the same attitude towards him.
But not. He had to get used to living with stress on him.

Estándar
English, ensayos

66

Hard Work Is More Important than Talent, but It’s Not Enough

My sister-in-law is a lawyer, but it was not always like that. She studied Education and was a teacher for some years, but she wouldn’t earn enough money. However, after a time, she decided to study for being a lawyer, and, despite being a single mother, she efforted a lot and finished a Law career. My wife told me her sister never was considered a skilled student, but she always was a very determined and hard work student. Nowadays, my sister-in-law has got an important job as a lawyer, what’s more, she is able to bring her daughter a qualified education. This example helps me to explain to you that even though talent is a desirable condition—and indeed most people believe having talent is very important—having hard work, what includes effort and perseverance, is definitely a more important condition to reach success in any aspect of the life.

First and foremost, I would like to talk about why hard work is more important than talent. Let me give an example—Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a very famous 34-years-old Portuguese footballer. Typically, a past-30 footballer cannot play in a competitive league because of his physic skill is not as a young player. Nonetheless, despite his age, Ronaldo has got an enviable physic strength. Why? Since he was a teenager, this player used to practice more than his team fellows. He used to get training earlier than his fellows and stay more time than them. Ronaldo also worried about his alimentation, sleeping time, good habits, etc. Undoubtedly, all these things became him in a top-class player, and today all these traits continue in his professional life. “It seems that when anyone accomplishes a feat worth writing about, we rush to anoint that individual as extraordinarily talented”, was said by Angela Duckworth, a well-known American psychologist who, in 2016, wrote Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. “If we overemphasize talent, we underemphasize everything else,” she remarked. I thoroughly agree with this point, and in addition to, I must tell that most times we don’t think how long and much effort a talented person devotes in developing his skills. Now, let me show you up a couple of concepts in the next paragraph.

Following, I’m going to refer to why only having talent is no guarantee of success—the effort is necessary. Talent is defined as a natural ability, but it doesn’t imply success itself due to it’s not enough to develop skills through the time. Indeed, you need effort and perseverance. “Talent—how fast we improve in skill—absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculations twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive,” claimed Duckworth in her book. Without a doubt, effort may take you up perfection, but this may take some time. About perseverance, President James E. Faust taught in a General Conference in 2005 that “perseverance is demonstrated by those who keep going when the going gets tough, who don’t give up even when others say, “It can’t be done.” Clearly, President Faust emphasizes on don’t give up even though it doesn’t obtain the desired results. Up to here, I hope to have been clear concerning these issues, however, let me speak about one topic more.

Despite most people admit hard work is more important than talent, these also are inclined towards to believe that talented people achieve better results than somebody who has worked hard. Although this idea might have sense, often the real effort isn’t seen at simple sight. Many times, only when you develop any skill with hard work, effort, and perseverance in yourself, you can understand the thorough process behind in another person’s skill. I recall when I was in my mission, there was an excellent fellow who played masterfully the piano. I admit I did be upset because I also played the piano, but he did definitely play better than me. After we became friends, he told me he took piano lessons since he was 8, and did continue practicing since then, and obviously he did have also got talent. This was unforgettable teaching for me and helped me to appreciate how important is the effort and perseverance.

Definitely, all of us would like to have a particular talent in any field. Indeed, all of us do have different talents, but it should be noted that having them is not enough for being a skilled person in that particular field. It’s necessary to have a developing plan that includes a lot of practicing and effort. Whenever effort applies, any skill shall enhance, but without perseverance, we shall never know it.

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Estándar
English, ensayos

65

What Are Three Things People Can Do to Start Changing Bad Habits?

“We are what repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” These words were stated by Aristotle, many centuries ago. Despite being ancient, this quote contains an important truth: developing habits are a determinant condition in any human being who wants to reach success. However, due to our brain is constantly creating habits, many times without you are aware, sometimes it will be necessary to change some bad habits. In this paper, I’ll be talking about three things people can do to start changing bad habits: identify a bad habit loop, experiment with rewards, and make a plan.

The first step to change a bad habit is to identify what is its loop structure—how it was created. “Within our brains, there is a three-step loop”, wrote the journalist Charles Duhigg, who published in 2014 the fascinating book The Power of Habits. “First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is a routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future”. Duhigg states that when you can understand how these components work you will be able to make changes you need. I remember my father used to wake up at 3 AM every day, after hearing the alarm and would sit on the sofa for reading. Every day, until he was gone. One day, I asked him why, and he said to me that when he heard the alarm he had to wake up and read. He used to feel happy after reading time. In Duhigg’s words, waking up was my father’s cue to start reading, reading was the routine, and feeling happy was the reward. However, identifying the habit loop is only the first step.

To take the second step, it’s necessary to understand when you have a habit, your brain develops a strong link between cues and rewards, through a routine. If you want to change a particular habit you have to analyze what is the real reward your brain craves. To find out this, Duhigg recommends experimenting with rewards to find out if in this way your cravings are satisfied, thus you can determine which craving is driving your routine. “It seems ridiculously simple, but once you’re aware of how your habit works, once you recognize the cues and rewards, you’re halfway to changing it”, was explained by Ph.D. Nathan Azrin to Charles Duhigg, for his book. That’s means, the brain can be reprogrammed. This fact sounds encouraging, but you need to implement a plan yet.

Many times you fall in the error of setting up a lot of new habits or aiming to a big habit, but my own experience has taught me it’s hardly impossible starting many habits at the same time. Third step—you need a plan. The Learning Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill advises four simple steps for changing a habit at a time[i]: (1) choose a keystone habit and do it well, (2) write down your plan, (3) make your goal public and develop a support team, and (4) make a plan for when you falter. Keystone habits have to be easy, small, and then you may slowly enhance the degree of difficulty.  Concerning the importance of small things, the prophet Alma taught that “the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord … bringeth about the salvation of many souls” (Alma 37:7). I’m convinced this is true, I’ve seen this pattern in my life many times.

Starting to change a bad habit might seem hard, but not impossible. It’s necessary you evaluate yourself and looking for what habits you need to change in your life. As we’ve seen, every habit has components that you must know them, to you can try if you can obtain the same reward, but with a beneficial routine. Sometimes you shall not know where starting, but if you make a plan you will manage to choose what keystone habit you must do first. Our brain is amazing, and the best of all, you can start to change bad habits whatever your age—it’s only necessary a routine.


[i] https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/changing-habits/

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Estándar
ficciones

64

—Buenas tardes, don Enrique, Soy yo nuevamente: Ignacio.
—Ignacio, mijo, qué tal, hombre. Ya sé por qué me estás llamando.
—Sí pues, Ingeniero, llamo para ver si me tiene alguna novedad sobre el sistema de auto inflado.

Llevaba casi quince años dedicándose a este oficio al que llegó por accidente; oficio que creyó solo sería un trabajo de verano, algo con qué pagar esa vieja y desmembrada computadora que se consiguió para hacer las monografías de esa romántica carrera que había escogido —Lingüística— cuando no tenía ni puta idea sobre qué hacer con su vida. Empezó por accidente, pues el esposo de la señora en cuya casa su mamá trabajaba tenía una tienda de rodamientos y necesitaba a alguien para que le ordene la tienda, de preferencia alguien que no supiera mucho de nada para así no tener que pagarle mucho. Y fue así que por veinte soles diarios aceptó trabajar para juntar los ochenta soles mensuales que necesitaba pagar por su computadora. Pero al poco tiempo se dio cuenta de que una computadora sin Internet no servía de mucho y tenía repulsión entrar a una cabina maloliente para conectarse a una red, así que le hizo un hueco a la pared de su sala y se conectó al router de su prima, quien por sesenta soles al mes le ofreció una “velocísima” conexión a internet de 2MB. Pensó que el dinero no le alcanzaría y que todo indicaba que iba a jalar Semántica 2, lo que auguraba que muy próspera no sería su vida si seguía estudiando su lindísima carrera. Así que un día, armándose de valor, se paró frente a su madre en el comedor de la cocina y le informó que no continuaría estudiando, que tenía cosas que pagar, que ya retomaría la carrera el siguiente año. Su madre, lejos de enfurecerse como él había estado esperando, le dijo que estaba bien pero que no dejara de trabajar porque a ella no le alcanzaba la plata, que mira tu papá nos dejó con deudas, que mira cuánto recibe de la ONP, que mira cuántos pañales tengo que comprarle; mientras su padre, en silla de ruedas, al lado, no quitaba la vista del noticiero de la hora.

—Mira, Ignacio, tu producto es bueno y tengo toda la voluntad de implementarlo en mis unidades, sobre todo en las que van a provincias; pero vas a tener que conversarlo con Carmencita.
—Carmen Lévano, ¿no, Inge?
—Ella misma. Habla con ella cosa que así tú también metes presión por allá, pues.
—Está bien. Creo que tengo su teléfono en algún lado. Me comunico con ella y le comento. Más bien muchas gracias, Inge.
—No te preocupes, cholito. Me avisas.

Lo intentó una vez más, pero no recordaba nada de lo que había aprendido en sus clases de Fonología y de Morfosintaxis. Sus compañeros se le antojaron demasiado jóvenes y además nadie quiso hacer grupo con él. Y pensó que estaba perdiendo el tiempo cuando el profesor de Dialectología dijo que a medio curso tendrían que hacer un viaje a la selva a desarrollar varios corpus de asháninka en distintas comunidades. Cómo voy a ir de viaje si tengo que trabajar —pensó—. Le decía a su jefe que iba a visitar clientes cuando en realidad se iba a su clase de Gramática Andina, porque la profesora ya le había advertido que una falta más y no aprobaría el curso, pero eran los lunes a primera hora, justo cuando su jefe llevaba a cabo la reunión semanal de ventas. Salió caminando lentamente por el patio de letras, como despidiéndose, y antes de subir a la 89, en la Germán Amézaga, se convenció a sí mismo que por lo menos en esta vida nunca terminaría Lingüística.

—¿Señora Carmen?
—¿Sí?
—Le saluda Ignacio. Quizás el ingeniero Camarena le dijo que yo llamaría.
—Sí, ya recuerdo. Dime, Ignacio.
—Mire, le he presentado una propuesta a Enrique Camarena para implementar un sistema de auto inflado en sus unidades. Técnicamente Enrique me indicó que era viable, pero me señaló que debía conversar con usted para ver el costo.
—Mira, Ignacio, te explico. Lo conversé con Gerencia, Enrique también lo hizo, pero Gerencia me indica que en estos momentos no podemos hacer este tipo de gastos. Ya tenemos un presupuesto definido y estamos con márgenes bien ajustados. La propuesta es interesante pero en este momento es inviable.
—Entiendo, señora Carmen. ¿Y cuándo cree usted que sí podría considerarse dentro del presupuesto?
—Estimo que de acá a seis meses, Ignacio.
—Está bien. Entonces me estaré comunicando nuevamente. Gracias por su respuesta.
—A ti, Ignacio.

Llevaba así casi quince años ya.

Estándar
ficciones

63

It happened while she was walking to nowhere, at a rainy July day. The idea came to her mind as a lightning in the midnight: to pay no attention was impossible. She continued walking on wet sidewalk without letting to think in this new idea. Meanwhile, in the other side of the city, her boyfriend was listening a chilly playlist on Spotify, thinking how happy he was.

By the time that she ended with him, at another rainy July day, he has already know this would happen. She wasn’t already affectionate and she hadn’t answered his messages quickly, like before. As soon as she told him, he has just hugged her and smiled so did she. “I know it” he said. “Do not explain anything”. She felt much better after heard him. Meanwhile, on the street, the rain had stopped.

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*Imagen tomada de Pinterest.

Estándar
introspección

61

Qué sencillo se le hacía darle tap al botón de empezar un nuevo post. Ponerle un título a sus posts era más sencillo aún, solo tenía que revisar la numeración del último post y ya, porque hacía algún tiempo atrás se le había ocurrido la genial idea —según él, claro— de simplemente numerar los títulos de sus posts. Encontrar tiempo para ponerse a redactar algo que valga la pena sí le costaba tantito, tenía tantas distracciones —porque decir ocupaciones sería una indulgencia— que ni siquiera dormía las horas que debía. Sin embargo, hasta encontrar tiempo era manejable, total siempre podía ponerse a escribir algo en vez de ponerse a llamar a sus clientes, por ejemplo.

Lo que en cambio sí le era complicado, desde que tenía memoria, era encontrar algo sobre qué escribir, y más aún: encontrar un estilo para contarlo. A sus avanzados treinta y tantos ya se había convencido de que no se convertiría en el siguiente Nobel peruano, ni mucho menos en un irreverente Jaime Bayly, ni siquiera en un blogstar local sin pena ni gloria; no, ya no escribía para lograr la aprobación de algún incauto lector que tropezara con sus escritos o para lograr tráfico para su blog. No. Se había conformado con escribir para sí mismo. Pensó que no sabía qué tan bueno era eso, ¿acaso no se escribe para ser leído? ¿Por qué esforzarse en escribir con la mayor corrección que sus estudios incompletos le permitían, si al fin y al cabo ni siquiera iba a haber quien le critique? Él solo se releía a sí mismo; se corregía a sí mismo textos que había escrito años atrás; se reía de sus propias ocurrencias; se emocionaba con sus propias historias; se indignaba también por haber parido tantos textos infumables. Sí. Llegó a la conclusión de que ¡a la mierda!, que no tenía nada de malo escribir solamente para sí mismo.

Y ahí estaba de nuevo, escribiendo sobre por qué escribía. Qué plomo. Ahí estaba, buscándose motivos para convercerse a sí mismo que tampoco es tan malo escribir y que nadie te lea. Había pasado casi una hora, aterido de frío en una madrugada de julio, para solo escribir que aunque nadie jamás lo leyera no tenía por qué dejar de hacerlo.

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* Imagen tomada de Pinterest.

Estándar