I think I am a person who likes to encourage people for their effort and who also likes to be encouraged for my effort. I think that this form of encouragement is something important that is lacking in the lives of city dwellers. People see results and judge you based on that. Effort is rarely acknowledged. I don’t like that. It becomes a chicken and egg issue – does the obsession for results cause people to work hard or are people working hard because they want to obtain those results?
I once worked hard because I wanted to obtain excellent grades for my exams and I remember doing well for most of my classes but I also remember being once depressed and feeling empty when I performed below my expectations because I judged myself based on the grades. I remember comparing results with my peers and feeling frustrated – why do people who seemingly put in less effort do as well as, or even better than, me? Life isn’t fair.
That can’t be more wrong. Now I judge myself based on the effort I put in. In fact, more often than not, I judge people by the effort they put in and I make a conscious attempt to acknowledge the effort. I believe in an effort-oriented system rather than a results-oriented one. Of course, those affirmations have to be sincere enough for people to feel motivated to work hard. First, I feel that people tend to perform better in an environment that encourages based on their effort because they find their day-to-day busy routines more meaningful. Second, it makes the working environment a lot more pleasant for everyone. Last but not least, I see results-oriented people as less enlightened, shortsighted people. Not only is perceiving humans merely as machines a gross underestimate of the human ability and willpower, it also undermines the quality of life for the people who judge and the people being judged by their results. Life is only full and balanced when people work hard but also stop to smell the roses and indulge in their hobbies at times. No more striving to be the best possible student in the whole school for me. I will only strive to do my best and that’s it.