It’s true, they’re not linked – you can bust your ass and put in as much effort as you can, and see no reward and vice versa. Here’s a quick disclaimer for today’s post;
This post is very much a gripe I’ve been having for a while, and the people it is aimed at fall into two broad categories. First off the people that don’t put in the effort and still expect the reward, or put another way the people that sail through life without really trying yet still manage to be good at things. Second, people like me that are fed up of working hard all the time only to turn round and help one of the first category of people. If you’re new to 3D (or whatever) and your work isn’t that good yet but you’re trying to learn; this isn’t aimed at you. If you’re constantly learning and growing this post isn’t for you. If you teach others for a living then this post most definitely isn’t for you as the issues within would drive you insane. I’m under no illusions here, you’ll probably still read it if your interest is peaked, but you’ve been warned.
What is Effort?
Effort is working to make something/do something/be something. It’s not easy by it’s nature. Effort is that thing we’re all told from a young age that if we put in enough of it, we’ll be rewarded. Money, good things, happiness – it’s all meant to come from effort.
‘Hard work’ means much the same thing; if you work hard you’re meant to be rewarded. But what does it actually mean to work hard and really put the effort in?
It means heartache, it means pain, it means blood and guts. It means feeling scared, it means being uncertain, it means being alienated from the people that like to work less hard. It means being exhausted both mentally and physically every day in some form, or at the least on most days. It means keeping going even when you want to give up, turn tail and run. It means hardship.
I’ll say this now, anyone that says otherwise is a liar. This may be intolerant of me, and if you can refute it after reading the rest of this post please do. I’ll be happy to debate the matter with you.
What is Reward?
Reward is subjective. One man’s reward is another man’s curse; how it manifests itself varies from person to person. We’re taught again from a young age that we want rewarded, that it should be the main goal of our lives; to find what we desire and to work hard enough to get it. We’re taught, knowingly or not, that so long as we get our reward then the quality of the work we produce doesn’t matter.
People can sail through life and still be rewarded. We’ve all seen it; people that get up one day, decide they want to be an artist, or a musician, or whatever else, and turn into an overnight success with all the rewards they could ever ask for. We’ve probably even seen people do this without putting in much or any work at all.
In short ladies and gentlemen our concept of work = reward is bullshit. Pardon the strong language.
How the System Works
Right now, if you’ll pardon the expression, it’s the dumbest and the prettiest that get the most attention. In college, or work, or life in general; if you do something stupid you hear about it, if you’re attractive you’re listened to. I’d even add charisma into that mix. People that put in the effort are rewarded far later, and in our schools the best and the brightest are left to their own devices while the rest of the class ‘catches up’
We reward people for the wrong reasons. If you don’t put in the work at school, or don’t understand it, you’re rewarded with more attention, care and time. If you happen to be a bit of a looker you’re more likely to be listened to than that person over there with the real information. If you can network and learn to speak eloquently, fluidly, and in a way that engages people; lord help anyone trying to compete with you. . Since my beef is with people that don’t try, rather than any particular mental capacity or charisma I’ll be skipping past those other two points for the moment. That’s an article in and of itself.
Lets recap that a little; Rewards are distributed based on how annoying/stupid we think the person is, how loud their complaints are, and how much attention they demand. Of that category the people that bother me the most are the ones that whine and complain because they can’t do something, get the attention, have the answer handed to them on a plate, do part of that and then call their work good enough. They are the people that demand our attention more often than not, and they’re the people that get it. People that work hard don’t get a look in unless they also speak louder than anyone else in the room or have one of the other aforementioned traits.
How the System Should Work
Call me unrealistic, but is it too much to ask that we realign to support the people that work hard?
Too often these people, me included actually, are taken advantage of by the people that just don’t care enough. Whether it is in a college class, a forum, a blog or your workplace – people care enough to want the end result, but not enough to put in the work required to get there. Again, if you’re new to something, just learning the tricks of the trade and you ask for help you’re not going to be shot down; because you’re trying to learn. However you can’t expect to come to the people that know what they’re doing, that work on getting better, and that (maybe) succeeded and expect to be given all the answers without a price.
Yet that’s exactly what we (or at least I) currently do. Sure we’ll help the ones that care too, but for whatever reason we help those that don’t equally. Sometimes even more. Perhaps it strokes our ego, perhaps people that don’t care make us feel less threatened, or perhaps we’re just too busy trying to be liked to differentiate. This tendency will be taken and raped for all it’s worth, until we could actually be instrumental in one of those people gaining the credit and reward for our effort.
I’m proposing we work hard, and gain our own reward. While still spring-boarding the people that will work hard and continue to do so. People with passion, people with drive, people with a better reason for doing what they do than ‘I need to pass this thing to get my qualification’.
It’s up to you whether you follow this, but I’ve had enough of being taken for granted and wasting my time where it benefits no one. Least of all me. Call me selfish, but I’d like to start seeing my own rewards for my efforts; to that purpose I’ll be making a few changes.
- The people I help will be exclusively those that will use it, and learn from it. People that settle for ‘good enough’ without a really good reason will be told to shove it.
- Unless they genuinely forget, there will be no repeat lessons when I’m asked something directly.
- I won’t count sub par work from myself or anyone else as acceptable.
- I’ll be more aggressive both on my own behalf, and on the behalf of the people that work for it with looking and asking for rewards.
- If anyone tries to blackmail me, or someone else, into helping them when they clearly don’t care enough to put the effort in to learn it themselves will be cut down.
This may seem harsh and out of character, but that’s my current standpoint. This has been bothering me for a long while, as I mentioned, and enough is enough. I certainly hope I’ve alienated a few people with this; if I didn’t my audience isn’t big enough and my post didn’t do its job.
It’s time for action people; what bothers you and why do you put up with it?