DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #52

Dear Granddaddy, why does my life have to be so hard? Felix- student

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Felix, I can relate to you very well on this question. I, too, often wonder why my life has to be so hard. And I bet there are millions of people out there that are also wondering the same thing.

Since I’m a history teacher, let me go back to one of my favorite Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy frequently said that all Americans should live the strenuous life, rather than a life of leisure and comfort. It’s hard, strenuous times that build one’s character and collectively strengthens a country with better values. I must admit that when I think back to Teddy’s life in the late 1800s and early 1900s though, I imagine that many people did indeed live the strenuous life.

So now coming back to the present time. You’ve told me you’re a student, Felix. I imagine you probably face many of the same difficulties as many others are from getting out of bed early each morning for another long day of school, extracurricular activities, and maybe even a job when you’re already tired. You probably also aren’t a big fan of the adults continually telling you to work harder as well.

I’m assuming you’re busy and tired. I get it because I’m very busy and tired, too. However, when I feel sorry for myself from being overworked and underappreciated, I try to remind myself that I’m trying to live life to its fullest. I only get one go around in this life to live life to its fullest. We all only live once. We get only one chance to live our lives. And we’re not going to be able to fully live our lives if we’re taking the easy way out on the couch in front of another screen. No! We have to live the strenuous life just like Teddy Roosevelt said, if we’re going to live life to its fullest.

Well, Felix, I hope I helped you at least a little bit in looking at a hard, strenuous life a little bit differently. Take care, buddy, and keep on keeping on… even if it’s hard…

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: