Journal Entry 5: A for Effort

I write these journals in the first 10 minutes of my Writing I class at NYU. I thought the readings/articles were very intriguing and the journal prompts were also really interesting, so I thought why not post my thoughts on the blog while I’m at it? And these are written in 10 minutes so they might sound very first-draft-esque, my apologies.

Based on: “American Mozart” by David Samuels at the Atlantic; Kanye West’s article for the XXL magazine.

Prompt: “If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” -Kurt Vonnegut


It is in all our nature to put in some kind of effort into what we are invested in at the moment. Whether your effort is conscious or not, the outcome reflects how much time and work you put into something. As many people there are who think effort is key, there are also the counterparts who care less about the effort and more about themselves.

Some people put in half the effort into something that others are willing to pour all their hearts and souls into. That makes them the “one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind”. You are essentially the cheater who gets to get away with solving the math problem with a calculator when you’re not supposed to use calculators for the whole duration of the exam. I don’t mean to be harsh, but it’s the truth. There will always be shortcuts and people often end up walking on that path.

There is a wide belief that people who put in all their effort into something will eventually be rewarded. But how do we cap the amount of effort we need to put in? Is there really a limit to how much we can invest our energy and time into something? What is “reward”?

I guess the reward is something embedded in yourself that you will come to find when the time is right. There might be several rewards, something as little as a “thank you” from a stranger that you’ve helped on the street can make your day. No effort goes unrewarded (I think it’s a quote from someone, but I might be wrong). And no reward comes without effort.

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