Why Everyday Effort Sets You Up for Success

(NOTE: Yes, I acknowledge I am making generalizations. This is purely from my own observation and experience.)

American culture has convinced me that being lazy is ok.

There’s this weird stigma in American culture that if you’re trying too hard in your appearance, you’re vain. If you can get it done faster, it’s better to get it over with. If your job sucks, get a new one. Instant gratification. Immediacy.

The result of doing things so quickly and with little effort is that it sets the precedent that mediocre standards are acceptable, and instead of trying to grow from all experiences, you select which things you’ll allow yourself to be taught with. You create lazy habits. You stifle your own growth and wonder why you’re in the rut you’re in.

After working in Japan and Korea and observing the people, I’ve seen that there is a grace to putting in a little extra effort into everything you do. The extra time these people put into their daily lives, whether it’s maintaining an orderly home or dressing up for the day, sets their mentality for life. In my opinion and from observation, they tend to strive for more. This ultimately translates to and sets these people up for success. You can argue that Americans, especially this generation, always strive for greatness. But see, especially in careers, the American mentality is to keep jumping from point A to point B without putting in long term effort because it does not instantly satisfy them. You work at McDonald’s? Fuck that job, you’re better than that. Who the fuck cares if you’re making that burger look appealing. You’ll get out of that shit hole eventually. All right! Now you’re finally in an office job. But fuck, you hate it there. You can do so much better. You’re going to half-ass this presentation because you deserve to be at a better place. No use putting in that effort because no way will that job help you grow.

Are you guilty of this?

Even before making this observation about Japanese and Korean people, I truly believe that every little action and decision you make in your life contributes to the type of person you ultimately become. For example, I’ve never (at least from my recollection) let myself cheat on a homework assignment or test. Why? Because I’ve always felt like if I cheated myself even once, that would open the door for more times I will cheat due to the lack of immediate consequence. Essentially, I never wanted to create the habit. What if I justify cheating on something with more consequence because I’m able to compare it to the smaller things I’ve cheated on? On a scale, if I’m comparing cheating on something with more consequence to never cheating, that’s a lot harder to justify than comparing cheating on a large scale vs small scale. I never let myself create that point of reference. It was always comparing cheating to not cheating.

The habit of the Japanese and Korean people putting in the extra effort in everything they do really translates toward why they’re viewed as a successful and skillful people. If you create little habits of extra effort in your every day life, it will translate to big picture things like your career and relationships. I don’t see putting in the extra time to take care of your appearance as vain. I see it as taking care of yourself. Fuck what other people think, honestly. I can 100% say that I’m more likely to get through my to do list dressed up for the day than when I’m dressed in PJ’s because I’m simply placing extra effort elsewhere.

To many Americans, putting in extra effort “where it doesn’t matter” sounds like a chore and unnecessary. To me, putting in extra effort sets you up for positive habits which will maximize your true potential.

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