A good motto, one I learned in college and one that still appeals to me. However, today we will explore some thoughts that one may think runs contrary to the sentiment expressed by the Latin.
We all crave reward, after all the whole concept behind reward is getting something we need or desire. The idea behind reward goes a little further than that, reward implies you have done something to merit it. You don’t wake up and get a reward for sleeping, do you? In fact, rewards encourage us to do things we would rather not do. After all, Mom never said: I’ll give you cake and ice cream and then you will clean your room, the chore comes first and if completed then the reward.
One reward item that can motivate myself is beer. What guy can not be motivated by a cold can of beer? Problem is, how hard is it for an adult to pull into a tavern or even walk to their refrigerator and get a beer? No work. The best beers in my opinion are those that come after a physically hard job. I associate making firewood first and beer afterward, with extremely pleasant feelings. Actually, I don’t need the beer, accomplishing something with firewood hits a lot of my brain’s pleasure buttons in and of itself. Still, the beer I have after splitting, moving, stacking, or cutting firewood tastes a lot better than the beer I have Friday night without the prior work.
All too often, I see people trying to take shortcuts to the reward. Some shortcuts are okay as but others are not. Cheating is a shortcut and it cheapens the reward and in any event that voice in the back of your head will remind you of the cheapness of your reward. The ultimate shortcuts — narcotics and other drugs are often times personally destructive, but can be the most alluring — empty and meaningless pleasure.
Striving and success has its own very subtle and very strong buzz, and that is the buzz we should all strive for.
Make sure you have earned the reward you are bearing!