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THE KEY TO HARD WORK… Find Reward in the process, not the GOAL!!

Updated: Aug 22, 2023


Most people do not like working hard! That is the misconception of most, that people who are inherently successful must love working hard! However, individuals who achieve a reward “after” the hard work often find pleasure in the reward and not the process. This is a problem for longevity because when one removes the so-called “reward” then that individual no longer chooses to do the activity that requires hard work. There have been clinical studies done on giving children rewards for working hard and it has shown unfavorable regarding long-term work ethic once the reward is removed.

“self-control comes from persistence and habit”

People who would normally do something, intuitively, they will be less likely to do that activity once a reward is introduced. In general, this concept is a direct result of dopamine release. Dopamine is released during the process of fulfilling a goal, an activity, and it is addictive for an individual. However, once a reward is introduced at the end then dopamine is delayed for a longer period of time thus resulting in no dopamine release during the process. Dr. Andrew Huberman speaks about this topic very eloquently. He has the best explanation of this topic that I have found…

So, where do we go from here… a reward-based system must be created around the work effort on a path towards improving oneself. We need to focus on feeding an internal reward system based around the effort portion of the process. The forebrain can be trained to feel and love effort as the reward through a variety of strategies. Here are a few tips:

1. Journal… immediately following the hard activity you need to write down a few things like this, be positive only:

- I excelled at this activity today when I did this…

- The best portion of the activity was __________ when it was at the hardest part of the activity.

- I enjoyed going through this __________ activity because...

2. Train yourself not to “hype” yourself up for a hard activity… instead, schedule it, and start it with your normal psyche.

3. Do not reward yourself after a hard activity. This is when you should engage in writing in a journal or evaluating how hard it was and what you did exceptionally well in! However, do not give yourself a treat after the activity because it will cause you to delay dopamine release during an activity.

4. During the activity, tell yourself or purposefully visualize yourself achieving your ultimate aim in life, which will train your subconscious to be habitually positive with hard work of any activity.

Some of the tips may sound ridiculous but as Napoleon Hill stated in Think and Grow Rich, “self-control comes from persistence and habit.” When you learn to focus on the process and take REWARD from the work, finding the key to hard work, you will thus unlock your full human potential...

Thank you for READING and supporting!!!


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