The above photo is of my 9 year-old daughter, Madison, who came 10th in her school division today, which enables her to go through to the regional finals.

For her, it’s a really big deal and she is sporting the biggest smile I’ve seen on her face.

But she wasn’t smiling when she was training on a cold, wet, foggy morning doing laps before school.

She wasn’t smiling when we said no to McDonald’s or other junk food.

But she was beaming after training hard, pushing herself on the day and achieving her goal.

Hopefully, she’s learned an important life principle.

If there’s something that you really want in life, you can’t expect it to land in your lap without some hard work and sacrifices first.

You can’t just sit back and smirk at those who are putting in the hard yards, then wonder why they got so lucky in the future.

You can’t take it easy now, or you may regret it forever.

You have to sweat first and smile later.