Work vs Reward

Recently I came across this image while browsing the interwebs.


Upon first glance, this seems pretty reasonable right? There’s a difference between short term pleasure and the fulfillment you could get from working hard. But on second thought, there is absolutely no harm in taking a break and enjoying yourselves. Valuing yourself solely by your labour is harmful at best and depressing at worst (I’m looking at you Karl Marx).

This constant struggle of feeling you’re not being productive while idle and feeling that there’s no point in wasting your precious time on a job is an easily fixable problem. Enjoy the experience. Enjoy working. Enjoying taking a break.

Don’t climb the mountain to get to the top. Climb the mountain to climb the mountain. Or if you’re like me, climb the mountain because you’re dead inside.

This brings into the question of celebrating hard work vs celebrating reward. Now, the ideal scenario is that you worked hard at something and you were rewarded, but that doesn’t always happen. I would tell you that you should celebrate hard work and not the rewards you get from it, but that would be oversimplifying the situation.

Imagine a life where you work for your whole life without reward, I doubt anyone would feel satisfied. Or on the opposite spectrum, imagine a life where you get rewarded but inside you know that you did not work for it.

I started working out around 3 months ago. I’ve learned to take joy in working out. I’m not waiting for when my workout will be over, rather I’m preparing myself for the next set or exercise. Now, the same principle of working hard + getting rewarded applies here. I’m working hard (even though I don’t feel like it) and I’m getting rewarded with more strength, less fat, better cardio and health. This is the basic principle through which I want to live life by.

I don’t want to go to college to just get a degree that I can ‘show off’ at my future interviews. I want to collaborate on projects, leech ideas from people who know more than me, hear different view points etc.

TL;DR: Find comfort in progress even though you have not reached your goal. Find enjoyment in work. You are not a machine, so you are allowed to have fun.

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