This message came to me in an odd way, which is often true for many things in life. This morning I was playing a game on the Facebook website called Farm Town, a game which several friends of mine are addicted to. Part of the game requires plowing fields to ready them for the crops. Probably due to a temporary glitch, when I placed one field, my character paid the money due and did the hard work, but the field did not plow. She did however still earn the experience points due.
This incident made me think about real life. Sometimes people work so hard, yet do not see the results expected. Does that mean the hard work was for nothing? Some may say yes here. I disagree. With hard work comes experience. Therefore, even though expected results are not always gained, that does not mean the hard work was for nothing. In fact, there are times where experience can be more valuable than any money or monetary award.
If you are relating your hard work with no results to a job, think about that for a moment. It's true that it's no fun to work hard day in and day out for minimum wage or less money than you believe you deserve for that work. However, at the present, many are taking whatever job they can get. If that's you and there is not another income opportunity, make the most of it. How?
Reap the benefits of experience, just like the farmer who plows many fields will learn to do it better over time. Keep working hard and learn as you do. That experience could help later down the road when there is better opportunity. That better opportunity may even exist within the very company you are putting all that time and effort into.
When it comes time to choose someone for a better position within the company, who do you think they'll look at first - the slacker on the phone all day or the hard worker? Even if it is not within that company that you advance, the experience you gained could come in handy for a future position and also looks good on a resume.
This can also be applied to any situation or goal in life where you are working hard to reach your desired result but feel like you're not reaching it. You are gaining experience and knowledge along the way. Some goals require a bit of extra knowledge to fully appreciate. Some require extra obstacles as well so that once you get there, you are strong enough to reap the benefits of the reward.
Hard work is not for nothing. It does eventually pay off, just not always in the way people expect.
*I originally published a version of this on 6/13/2009 via Yahoo Contributor Network
** Last updated 3/19/2020