Thursday, March 19, 2009

Effort and Reward

I am not one of those guys who just loves to work. I know people like that, people who are happiest when they are doing something. Not me. If I had my way, I’d choose a life free from responsibility – a life of complete, decadent and endless leisure. I was so committed, albeit unconsciously, to this pursuit that I would often work harder at avoiding work than it would have taken to just do it. But even if the option were before me (and it’s not), a life of leisure would not be a successful one. It is a dubious luxury. It is one of life’s little paradoxes and one that it took quite some time for me to understand.

There is no such thing as something for nothing, and I don’t care who you are. Those who have unearned wealth sufficient to provide that "idyllic" life I just portrayed cannot feel any satisfaction from being nothing more than a consumer. I know many claim to be perfectly content with nothing more to do than spend money, but they are either lying or do not know the kind of satisfaction that working towards and achieving a goal can bring. As much as I am still not motivated to put forth any effort, I am extremely motivated by the rewards that come from the effort.

Wealth does not necessarily come in the form of money, although earned income is certainly one way of measuring success. But there are so many things that cannot be bought at any price. From the setting of and completing goals comes an inner satisfaction that is derived from knowing the effort came from me… nobody sells that. And with it comes a new set of goals and new challenges that could not be considered before prior goals have been attained. Completing my BA was the most recent, but even as I work toward my Master’s and beyond, indicators of forward progress abound.

It was a grueling week at school. A ton of work was required prior to class tonight and combined with my responsibility to my own students, I was under stress similar to what the end of a semester brings. Every time I contemplated the mountain of work I had in front of me, I wanted to turn the other way. I am not one of those guys who loves to work. But I am one of those guys who loves the feeling of coming out the other side and tonight I am feeling exactly that. The week has come to an end - what needed to be done got done.

And I did it.


Anonymous said...

Wealth to me comes from hope, the love and support of your loved ones. Money is just an extra bonus if you have any.

Do we really need to have new gadgets yearly or a new bmv in the driveway?

Hello, NetChick sent me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike... Glad you perservered. I've been going crazy at work lately, and not feeling like I am doing anything rewarding. I'm glad you have found some reward from all that hard work -- or at least, it sounds like you have.

Anonymous said...

Feeling proud of yourself and your accomplishments is definitely a goal that more people should strive for in life, as opposed to just being motivated by money and material objects.:)

carmilevy said...

Amen to everything you've said here. I, too, don't much relish the prospect of diving into a pile of work. But once I'm in, I'm in. And the satisfaction of chewing through and coming out the other side - and looking back to see what's been accomplished along the way - is immensely good for the soul.

Speaking of which, my own mountain awaits. Popped by from Tanya's today. Back soon...

Anonymous said...

Wealth for me is loving myself, loving what I'm doing and and loving those around me. In other words, real wealth comes directly from love.

I'm lucky that I love my job... it really suits me, so going to work is no more difficult than undertaking a hobby I enjoy or going for a walk in the sunshine.


ps. NetChick sent me, again. :)

Snaggle Tooth said...

It got done, you did it, n because you got through it, you were successful! May you continue to get rewarded!