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The value of hard work.


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#1 Mercurius

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 11:53 AM

This is probably the worst topic I could possibly make for the purpose of keeping myself motivated, but I am always auto-counterproductive anyway so whatever.

 

I'm sure that, given the age range of many users here, you've heard them old timers talking about how them millennials or whatever don't know the value of hard work, and thus suck and are doomed to failure.

 

You know ignoring how a lot of the time these same adults will be spending the vast majority of their free time watching shallow, formulaic TV dramas and getting addicted to smartphone games. (yes, I do realize this problem is just as relevant to younger people that actually have the time for it.)

 

The way the value of hard work is described is in that, if something is too easy, it will be easily discarded/neglected, and will not form a true emotional connection with you. Oh and because how much you get high off dopamine is dependent on how much time and effort was invested into getting there. But we'll go off the former since for the latter...honestly, just find a reliable drug dealer. Waaaaaaaaay more payoff for far smaller investment if we're going off chemicals of pleasure.

 

I, personally, have a really detrimental relationship with this logic.

 

The first thing is, because hard work is so emphasized, I feel like every small accomplishment I make is virtually pointless, and that especially applies the more effort is put into lesser return. It's minuscule. Amounts to absolutely nothing meaningful if the product does not get as completed as complete can possibly be, and because that product can be me in itself, it seems impossible to actually get there. I feel no passion. I feel no attachment(because of the amount of effort put into it.) It's all useless and it reflects on my own lack of meaningful power. #aznproblems

 

(I think this is why I play so many video games. I always feel like what I do in them will pay off soon enough because little things add up so easily and are so immediately useful and visible.)

 

The second thing is, when I do pull off something after the effort put into overcoming the relevant challenges, I...don't actually feel better about it. Most of the time, it will make me more likely to devalue it, because of all the effort put into lesser return. At best I will feel that it's finally fucking over, rather than patting myself on the back over how I managed to create the required accomplishment via my accumulated skills/knowledge. At worst I will feel like I wish I never started anything related to it in the first place. This is what I think is actually meaningful about the older generation complaining about people these days not valuing hard work, even if what they are actually trying to say or why they say it is from a completely different perspective.

 

The only time I can revel in my accomplishment is when the success reflects enough of what I wanted out of it. I didn't want dopamine. I wanted to see what I wanted realized, the time and effort is only a cost, it has no positive emotional returns in itself. I will never feel joy or pride in accomplishment for how high the cost was for it in itself. I am much happier in results that are obtained via less cost, which is why huge sales that just happen to come by get me super excited. The only time I can appreciate working hard is to make things later on in life easier. Think about that for a second. Taking on challenges so it gets easier. It's sounds so incredibly backwards when I put it in that way, even if the logic seems sound enough (get more skill or assets to become more effective at handling the relevant hurdles to climb over.) And then I won't appreciate the hard work anyway because if I ever have to restart for whatever reason, working my way back up to where I was will never feel like it's worth it.

 

They'll say all they want about how kids these days are so lucky...but maybe I lost something far more valuable than whatever conveniences advancement has brought us. (Said valuable thing is THE GRAND QUEST FOR DOPAMINE, so if I ever start getting addicted to drugs it won't really matter, but I'm too scared of what I or other people will do to me when I'm high so that will take a long time, if ever.)


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#2 ^Leo^

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 12:26 PM

If I understood what you're saying here you feel the end result is the reward rather than any feeling of accomplishment? If that's the case I agree. I don't really get the pride thing over working my ass off doing something that someone else could have helped me streamline fifteen times over anyway. Now I don't mean you should have other people do the work for you. Just that you don't need to figure it out on your own. If you borrow the skills and knowledge from someone else doesn't that mean you now have those skills without going through the long and frankly tedious process of acquiring them yourself? I'm not saying there aren't benefits to hard work. I just don't feel they're worth the work you sometimes have to put in when the end result is the only thing that stays. For example, you can work for hours trying to fix a buggy line of code in a program, or you can go to someone else and ask them what went wrong. Both fix the problem, both leave you with the same information, and asking for help can save you a few hours of work that can be spent doing something else.

Now if you're going to have to work hard on something anyway I say so it right and make sure it's perfect because all you have in the end is whatever you worked on. Say it's a friendship you're trying to keep together. If you work hard at repairing relations the end result could be a stronger friendship than you had before. If the end result is something more important than the work it'll take then you can bet I'll put in as much as possible.

#3 arimibn

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:29 PM

Pls dun do drugs. Dey is bad 4 ewe. 

 

Generic warning aside, I can completely agree with the whole valuing accomplishments over effort. But I think rather than effort, people value challenge. For example. I enjoy a good challenge, as do many people. But I do not enjoy having to exert a lot of effort for minimal things. 


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#4 kirant

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 01:55 AM

Gonna point by point this.

I'm sure that, given the age range of many users here, you've heard them old timers talking about how them millennials or whatever don't know the value of hard work, and thus suck and are doomed to failure.

I don't think it's specifically millennial this discusses.  I've heard it much more frequently used on Generation Y who seek something greater than what the first post-boomer age group received.  That is, success that is fun and satisfying (whereas the boomer generation wanted a steady job and the next generation wanted jobs and some measurable success)

 

...Actually, I think it's much more generally used to describe any generation after.  But the eloquent article describing it uses Generation Y.

 

The way the value of hard work is described is in that, if something is too easy, it will be easily discarded/neglected and will not form a true emotional connection with you. Oh and because how much you get high off dopamine is dependent on how much time and effort was invested into getting there. But we'll go off the former since for the latter...honestly, just find a reliable drug dealer. Waaaaaaaaay more payoff for far smaller investment if we're going off chemicals of pleasure.
 
[...]
 

The first thing is, because hard work is so emphasized, I feel like every small accomplishment I make is virtually pointless, and that especially applies the more effort is put into lesser return. It's minuscule. Amounts to absolutely nothing meaningful if the product does not get as completed as complete can possibly be, and because that product can be me in itself, it seems impossible to actually get there. I feel no passion. I feel no attachment(because of the amount of effort put into it.) It's all useless and it reflects on my own lack of meaningful power. #aznproblems

I think society is approaching it the wrong way to some degree.  We must realize that we're...well, most of us are, of a generation where every little achievement is glorified.  Kids of the '80s began the awards for participation.  And I think this achievement for hard work is just that...you worked hard.  Good for you kid.  We're proud that you came out and gave it your 100%. 
 
That said, we must also approach it with context.  Context, and I'll often repeat it in serious posts, is king.  Would it be impressive if Richard Feynman got an A is entry level physics?  Not at all.  He was a major figure in modern physics after all.  But would it be impressive if John, the kid who struggled to pass every science and math course he ever took, got a B in the same class?  Hell yes.  We cannot ignore the situation which surround achievement and to do so is just as dangerous as purely observing effort. 
 
Part of this I think comes from the way we approach things from a mental level.  Some personalities, even if you use an analysis mechanism as rudimentary as MBTI, approach with a very strong mindset about the journey being the most important aspect...others, the end goal and the "does it work?".  We see it in everything.  Magic: The Gathering is a very ripe fruit for such things.  Some players like making a deck that's an expression of self.  One that's creative and, while not the best, may create an intense mental challenge while building.  Winning?  That's a secondary goal.  Others are all about whether or not it gives you a better chance to win your tournament. 

 

The second thing is, when I do pull off something after the effort put into overcoming the relevant challenges, I...don't actually feel better about it. Most of the time, it will make me more likely to devalue it, because of all the effort put into lesser return. At best I will feel that it's finally fucking over, rather than patting myself on the back over how I managed to create the required accomplishment via my accumulated skills/knowledge. At worst I will feel like I wish I never started anything related to it in the first place. This is what I think is actually meaningful about the older generation complaining about people these days not valuing hard work, even if what they are actually trying to say or why they say it is from a completely different perspective.

The only time I can revel in my accomplishment is when the success reflects enough of what I wanted out of it. I didn't want dopamine. I wanted to see what I wanted realized, the time and effort is only a cost, it has no positive emotional returns in itself. I will never feel joy or pride in accomplishment for how high the cost was for it in itself. I am much happier in results that are obtained via less cost, which is why huge sales that just happen to come by get me super excited. The only time I can appreciate working hard is to make things later on in life easier. Think about that for a second. Taking on challenges so it gets easier. It's sounds so incredibly backwards when I put it in that way, even if the logic seems sound enough (get more skill or assets to become more effective at handling the relevant hurdles to climb over.) And then I won't appreciate the hard work anyway because if I ever have to restart for whatever reason, working my way back up to where I was will never feel like it's worth it.

This is why I bring in context as a massive aspect of achievement.  Would it be impressive if you, for example, made the achievement?  If so, then give yourself the pat on the back.  At a personal level, I'm extremely proud of my brother and think he should be proud of where he is.  He has an extremely difficult time communicating and at one point was considered to have mild/moderate autism (didn't even speak until 3).  But he is tough.  He worked day in and day out to develop his language skills and even became a typically developing student by the end of elementary school.  He's getting his degree this summer.  He isn't the best student in the world, no.  I'd actually classify him as average probably.  He doesn't get the same marks I do and I don't think he'll take graduate studies.  But I feel his results are incredibly impressive.  He's fought for every inch of it and IMO that's a hell of a lot more than what quite a few of the other students can say.

 

I know that this is a difficult problem.  #aznproblems here too, if you want to hashtag it for some reason. But if that's a problem, remember that the stereotype exists for a reason.

 

The latter part does speak to an issue I've seen pop up quite often.  I'm not sure I agree with the article fully but this one is a fairly unsourced but reasonably eloquent description of the issue...namely that generation Y and onward have expectations that are beginning to outpace reality.


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#5 ^Leo^

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 04:34 AM

I don't think that this particular feeling comes from high expectations so much as a mindset that the result is more important than the path to it. For example two years ago I was home schooled. Last year I found out the work I put in wasn't going to count for anything. So I was put in an alternative school where you work at your own pace. No teachers or other students to slow down your work. I finished two years of high school in 2.5 months. I worked my ass off every day doing as much work as possible in the time I had, but none of that work meant anything in light of the fact that at the end of those 2.5 months I graduated. I'm no better off for the work put in, and really I felt more relieved it was over than anything.

Maybe I missed what you got out of that article, but I'm not sure it quite fits.

#6 kirant

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 05:11 AM

So I was put in an alternative school where you work at your own pace. No teachers or other students to slow down your work. I finished two years of high school in 2.5 months. I worked my ass off every day doing as much work as possible in the time I had, but none of that work meant anything in light of the fact that at the end of those 2.5 months I graduated. I'm no better off for the work put in, and really I felt more relieved it was over than anything.

Maybe I missed what you got out of that article, but I'm not sure it quite fits.

I think high school's like that period.  I was in the AP program for many of my grade 12 courses and our teachers were excited to get the grade 12 part of the curriculum over since they knew it was dry and useless.  They were excited to teach higher level stuff.  Many of our classes dropped to meeting once or twice a week after the AP exams ended and we needed to "prepare" for our standardized exams ("Provincial" exams).

 

But the big topic in the article is more on why Generation Y is unsatisfied at work.  They have higher expectations and think that, for the hard work they get in, they should get what their parents get and then a little more.  It's been that way for a couple generations and the article hand holds you through the older ones.  The baby boomers, for example, wanted and expected just to work their way to a stable job.  They got it.  The post boomer generation saw that and decided that, hey, they could get more than that.  They saw their parents working hard and grew on the concept that they could have a nice, happy life if they put hard work into it.  The world did better and they got a higher quality of life than expected.  That leads us to today.  We, as a generation, expect not only success but rewarding and fulfilling success at that.  None of this selling our soul to the company for us.

 

At least.  That's what the article posits. 

 

This ties in because the post by Mercurius describes only feeling joy and happiness when it is something that he wants and if it reflects what he wants out of it.  I might not describe it well, but I think the last part of that is a new aspect that isn't something I can remember hearing from other generations.  It's a bit belaboured, I admit, but I think that the expectations for our efforts as a whole are raised above what our parents expected because we are pattered by watching that generation (as a whole, not to say by each individual) thrived.  We saw them put in effort, get out success.  So we expect that and more.  We put in hard work, we expect a good result (good of course having different meanings depending on the situation).  Not just any result but a good one.  Not everything can be a "good result" though so we get frustrated when we don't see it as exactly what we wanted since it disappoints us.

 

That's how I wanted the article to translate it over and the case I tried to present as an extension of the article. 

 

Of course, this provides an implication: that older generations could put in effort and just be happy that their efforts are going places while not caring about the result.  That's a very debatable point since I don't think I know enough of the older generations and their hobbies to support or deny that point.  The few I do meet through retirement support programs, education, and family tend towards agreeing with this though. 


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#7 Mercurius

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Posted 23 May 2015 - 06:26 AM

The part I can agree with most in the article is the "taunting" part.

 

Well, not in that specific context, since I avoid popular social media altogether (it has interestingly earned me some social points in real life too, something about not having a facebook just gets people curious) but it is really easy to see other people in similar age range succeed (and also disregard the people of similar or higher age ranges fail more than I do.) It stands out a lot more in that people will promote this special thing about them and claim that I have something about me too, but I did not actually get older internalizing this part of the culture around me (as with much of the rest, basically most abstract things I could not internalize, only what has everyday mundane use like consumable products and slang) and thus, I have the result of trying to aim low- relative to how high others are aiming. But even aiming low relative to that may require high skill levels. So rather than looking at the previous generation's success and improving over that, it is a matter of feeling inadequate for the current generation's level of success, either because of my own expectations or others' expectations of me (hence #aznproblems.)

 

Just getting money for what I do, as long as it seems like enough money to sustain myself and afford a few luxuries, I can actually work for this, and feel good enough for it for the efforts to have been worth spending. Usually, this will be because when external, tangible, immediately useful rewards are involved, the amount of work I put into it is simply for the sake of the short-term goal rather than anything more. The cost for the result is aligned fairly well. But this is easy work. I hate challenges. They are only obstacles in the way of making work easier, and even when it comes to others, I can never appreciate the amount of effort they put into it (unless it is exceptionally low for the quality of the product being made), only the quality of their results.

 

So if I had a younger brother like yours(assuming I was performing significantly better than they are), kirant, I would always be that guy who never approves of him (though the larger factor is in that I most likely wouldn't even be involved in their affairs as much as possible, due to how I feel about blood-related family members), because he is nothing more than someone cursed with more challenges to overcome for his desired results. I wonder how many kdramas paint the kind of person I am as the villain in family issues stories. What I regret putting hard work into the most being systematic understanding of anything human that approaches me in real life for the sake of effectively using social techniques on them would also add to the poor opinion, I guess.


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Posted 24 May 2015 - 01:58 PM

Appreciate you sharing, great forum.Thanks Again. Great. Minnema




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