Reflections on Effort

To be objective requires examining what’s happening more than who’s doing it. For example, it’s easy to say that a teenager is “lazy” because they spend all their free-time with their heads buried in their phones. However, once we know what’s happening, we must then begin examining the why behind the what. Is the teen lazy or is the teen’s effort lazy? Why is the effort lazy? There’s crucial data in the latter question. Humans are motivated by purpose. If adults don’t create an understanding of why effort is important, if we don’t help our youth understand the greater transferable skill of why effort is important in creating both value and worth, then we must examine why we’ve allowed our efforts to become lazy.

If we throw in the towel because we feel it is too difficult, or convince ourselves it is futile, then we are simply projecting laziness onto others as a way of not examining the why behind our own actions. As adults, it’s our duty to know better, but it’s equally important to make sure we’re doing better. Doing better matters because it models why effort is important in the first place. It gives effort meaning. Effort is not easy. Effort is defined as “a vigorous or determined attempt, a strenuous physical or mental exertion and the result of an attempt.” Labeling someone else as “lazy” is simply a lack of effort on our behalf to examine why one might choose to prioritize idleness over productivity. Where did they learn how to do that? What efforts of ours did they experience that may be responsible for helping them determine how much effort they feel they are worth?

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Aspiring Stoic and Doting Father

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