You get out what you put in with the right motivation

I’ve always believed that a fruitful evening is more often than not the result of a laborious morning. Someone who spends the day hard at work is better off than someone who spends the day in indulgence. If there’s any benefit to this life, it’s that all of one’s efforts will pay off in the end. I’ve always believed that you get out what you put in.

But what’s the point in put- ting anything in if one doesn’t know what they’re going to get out? Why should anybody bother to try if they don’t have any reason to? What is it that makes any effort worth- while? Truly, to “put in” is not enough. We need a drive.

Very few of the world’s most successful individuals will tell you they achieved greatness for so simple a reason as “they worked hard.” It is true that a major factor in their success is because of their efforts, but their efforts would never have come about if they had no reason or purpose in trying.

As Aristotle once said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

Take Elon Musk, for example. Why did he bother to start companies like SpaceX and Tesla? Is it simply because he works harder than the average person and needs something to do? Of course not! The man was motivated to create cheaper, greener cars and develop more efficient means of exploring our universe.

What about Stephen King? Could he possibly be one of the world’s most successful fiction authors simply because he has nothing better to do with his time? This too, is false. His talents are a result of his lifelong passion for storytelling.

Would Christopher Nolan be the icon of the American Cinema that he is today if his sole motivation to make movies was to alleviate the boredom? No, a director of his caliber requires a wild imagination and a passion for the craft.

The key here is purpose. All of the aforementioned individuals are driven by their respective professions. If you don’t have a reason to push yourself beyond your own limits, you’ll never try to do so. Likewise, effort is meaningless without meaning.

I challenge the reader to think about why they are here. Why do they bother to put in the time and effort to attend class, study, turn in assign- ments and take tests? What purpose does it serve to you? Do you have any purpose in being here at all, or are you here because you believe it is simply what society demands of you?

The bottom line is this: you get out what you put in, but you need to have a reason to put anything in to begin with. Otherwise there’s no point to it all.

Photo by Noah Prince Students work in the Marietta campus library.
Photo by Noah Prince
Students work in the Marietta campus library.