…For the Wrong Reasons
Part II of Trying Harder than We Should
Trying hard is good, it builds character. People who try hard win hard; but we only win hard when we try hard sincerely, earnestly. If we persist in our trying we will achieve success because with every new failure the probability of success increases. Trying to achieve something can expand horizons, holds our interest, and increases perseverance; however trying can become mundane, monotonous, and boring also.
This duality arises when we try for the wrong reasons: competition. When we try out of sincerity, to improve ourselves, to better ourselves trying takes on its positive qualities, but when we try to impress the boss, increase our popularity, or compete for the best grade, best car, etc. the negative qualities surface. When we try for ourselves the effort is more organic and therefore more pleasurable, but when the effort is made for others it becomes more of an obligation.
If you work you had the experience of your boss telling you to do
something in a manner you disagree with. You will carry out your attempt in one of two ways; either you will make this attempt as an obligation and find the task boring and mundane which will cause the completion of the task to take longer or you will look at this attempt as an opportunity to learn something new. A seasoned employee will mostly always take the former route (a lesson to the employer.) When your boss tells you to get something done without giving you specific parameters your attempt will show more gusto, creativity, and ownership. If the boss dislikes the outcome of your attempt, your second attempt may be laden with the negative qualities of trying if you refuse to see this as an opportunity to learn something new.
When we try to achieve something for the sake of being the best our attempt is not sincere. Mary Kom took part in a sport which was all about competition, but she loved boxing that is why she was able to live it, breathe it, and win. When we study just to get the best grade, studying becomes a chore; however if we study because we enjoy the topic or take it as opportunity to learn something new, the good grade comes automatically. In high school when I needed to write a paper of a certain length it was an easy ordeal when I wrote from knowledge and experience, but once I made the attempt with the mindset to reach a certain page writing became monotonous and gruesome. Quality over quantity never fails!
Popularity is similar to competition in that it takes the sincerity and pleasure out of the attempt. I enjoy writing and it became a natural and preferred hobby of mine in my early teens. Till date 1 have about 100 poems, more than a dozen short stories, and more than 20 articles; when I write with the aim of getting a good grade, attracting the most viewers, or to satisfy another my content quality will diminish, I will find it more difficult to write, and I usually am not overly satisfied with the result. Also when we win something due to sincere efforts the fruits are much sweeter rather than winning because of our popularity.
Continue the effort, because it is the effort that defines our success; but make sure the effort is not made in the wrong vein. Trying, but for the wrong reasons takes out some of the gusto when we achieve our success at that endeavor. We all enjoy getting the good grade, the gold metal, and being the most liked, but once these pleasures become the aim of our attempt we lose sight of what’s important: the journey there. Sometimes we take educational courses for the certificate, the skills we will acquire, or the suffix we will get to our name; this takes away from learning, understanding, and the learning qualities. So when you try to do something, focus on the attempt itself and enjoy the natural fruits. The enjoyment of the journey is in the experience not the destination.