You know how things go full circle sometimes? I think my life just did it again.
I grew up on the belief that hard work pays off. Right? I was influenced by that “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” “invent yourself” kind of generation…because we’ve seen all the legends of the past do it.
But then I had a reality check. I saw during the early 2000s how stupid people were becoming famous and rich by being well…stupid. From doing nothing but going viral. People like Paris Hilton whose fame only comes from being nothing but rich. It is still going on…but, people becoming successful from not working was the trend and in many ways—it still is.
I find myself at some point feeling jaded. Like, why does anything I do matter? I work harder than a lot of people I know—yet I see them going much farther. Eventually, a sense of injustice creeps in.
But now things have changed.
I find myself unable to not do my best. Even if I tried to be half-ass, I can’t. Then I discovered a joy in this. And this joy is like gardening; because everything I devote 100% of my energy to reaps a small reward.
I discovered that the reward that comes from working hard is not from external sources alone. It doesn’t necessarily come from anybody. It comes from yourself. It is you that give yourself that reward.
Doing your best boosts confidence, it gives you pride in your work. It makes you strong mentally, physically and also builds character. At the end of the day, someone else by using gimmicks to get ahead—but they live their lives with zero confidence because they know they’re a schmuck (which means “dick” in Yiddish) because they either have no talent or didn’t work hard enough to earn it.
When you work hard, you earn the gift of getting better at everything that you do. And that should be enough of a reward.
Today, I get high off the smallest thing. If I finish a small task, then five, then ten, I feel great. Each day that I look back, I see the garden of my life growing. I see that every single little thing I do—adds up to something big…it’s sort of like increasing deposits in your bank account.
As small and unrewarding as the menial tasks I do seems, I see how each and every one build up little by little, like bricks until it forms a structure—floor by floor.
Things that I find painful to do—like all the boring, logistic stuff that’s involved in building toward finishing a large project, publishing a book, or making a movie at times appear to go nowhere and don’t amount to anything—but when I look back, I see this garden of the work I’ve done.
It’s incredible to me how “success” really works. It’s definitely not something achieved overnight. It’s something that blossoms from many hours within many years of constant cultivation. The reward comes to me today, not only in looking at things that I’ve finished but am finding joy in dotting an “i” and crossing a “t,” and we should.
It is worth it to dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s no matter what the lazy world says because when you do it, you build strength and integrity. And this is the stuff that confidence is made of. In this position, you don’t need anyone to ever tell you whether you’re good enough or not. Whereas those who are sloppy and choose not to work hard will always be a slave to other’s opinion.
It pays to work hard after all. There is immutable truth in this.