Written by: Kylie Mort, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
There comes a time in one’s life when one must face some hard truths. Not the vicious aggression of an egotistical family member with an unknown agenda, but the liberating truth of taking a deep breath and realizing one’s path is more convoluted than first expected, however uncomfortable that may be.
The hard truth, the cold, harsh reality, is that in the real world, effort is not rewarded. It matters not how hard you strived and the battle scars you may bear to prove your stoic tenacity. It is pointless to focus on the generosity or the good intentions that paved your journey, nor how your toils have benefited others in a gorgeous ripple effect that will just keep on giving.
It is all for naught if you do not secure the desired outcome. Results are rewarded, not effort.
Comparatively, the human baby is born into this world an underdeveloped and vulnerable species. Equipped only with basic reflexes and instincts, they will remain helpless and physically dependent on older caregivers for many years. Psychologically, this dependency could last decades, and as seen in the modern family unit, children are encouraged to grow and develop in healthy ways through believing in myths. Stories that may skew the data and embellish the facts for a brief period will inevitably encourage the expanding mind to grow in crystallized and fluid intelligence.
Children are encouraged in their formative years through the resounding myth that effort counts.
Why do we do this? To build the resilience necessary to deal with the real world. We must foster a child’s tenacity and proactive attempts through positive reinforcement and beguiling encouragement. If at first you do not succeed…adapt, evolve, and overcome; with the faltering baby-steps of someone who feels they are making genuine progress. Because at what point would a young person give up all hope if they were faced only with the sheer frustrating wall of failure at every turn?
To educate the pre-adult mind is to reward effort, building within that individual’s nature the resilience to bounce back from defeat with grace and determination. Yet, gradually during schooling, the continuum will slide until the effort so proudly displayed and commended resigns as the poor cousin of results. There will come a time when effort no longer achieves a purpose. It is but a contributor, a skill that one either utilizes or lacks in an endeavor that seeks only the spotlight of success.
Thus the question, at what point is effort knocked from its prestigious throne? And how do we build this resilience that will see us through the transition? How do we deal with the failure when the pain of effort is so resolute?
Remember, it is not about you. It was but the action that was judged, not the person. Your actions are measured and qualified, not your character. You must separate yourself from your efforts, clearly, distinctly, and without blame. The effort you made was a decision you produced at a specific point in time, and it has now been judged, qualified, and inevitably forgotten by all involved. If not here and now, in time, it will be relegated to the past.
To accept one’s efforts to be inextricably, yet compassionately bound with failure, one must make space for subjective contemplation. Move on calmly from failure, comfortable knowing that given effort and judgment are but a moment in time. Ask yourself these 4 key questions, writing down your answers as instructions to yourself, and focus on the lesson presented:
1. Is the judgment significant in the short term?
Example: Not securing this contract is not important in the short term as I will still have other work
2. Does the judgment have repercussions in the long term?
Example: Yet the long-term repercussions of not securing this contract means I will not have the additional money for my holiday