the kinds of effort we put in

Work, at it’s core, isn’t very fun. It requires you to focus and pull away from what’s entertaining to accomplish some goal. Different parts of one’s work may be interesting, but for most everything, you have to be in the right mood for it. And no matter how amazing your job or school is, there will always be times when you just don’t feel like putting in the effort.

There is a strength required in being able to do what you don’t want to do. Its name is self-control, and it’s difficult to wrangle down at times. However, you can. We all have some amount of self-control, and you are no different. The trick is that thinking you have more of it helps you actually have more of it. If you tell yourself that you have little self-control, you make yourself feel less guilty for loosing control and giving in to your temptations. However, knowing you have high self-control keeps your expectations high, and helps you not give up. And you should want to be in charge of yourself!

Our emotions are not all of us, nor is our rationality. They are mixed together in order to help us live full lives.Giving in to whatever you want, whenever you want is fun, but it quickly makes you miserable. Our impulses are not always good, and not ever holding back tends to ruin our relationships. Your emotions shouldn’t always end up on top, just as logic is limited in circumstances. Denying your whims helps you get to your true desires, the ones that actually matter more to you. Work is hard and probably not that fun. That’s okay. Not every moment of life has to be fun or happy. Instead, we can be grateful and committed to our goals and relationships, because that is what’s important. Your effort matters, even when it doesn’t feel heroic or interesting.

Balancing logic and emotion

Idealism is a trait that’s considered a plague of folly or an eye for incredible things. It’s often associated with youth, and so with it, we assume that idealism is the same as ignorance. Is this really true, however? After all, some of our most important leaders have been said to be idealistic, even over their many years of existence. In one breath we might put down youth and praise our finest leaders with the same trait. The question is, why is there is such a distinction between who has this futuristic, utopian mindset? I would argue, experience and what people do with that idealism.

Anyone can be idealistic. You sit or stand anywhere you please and imagine a future that’s better than the present you’re in. We tend to begin thinking idealistically around our teenage years because it’s a part of understanding ourselves as individuals whose actions can make a difference. As the years go by, however, we learn what to expect, and it’s often less than the spectacular image we wanted. This is where the distinction is developed: anyone can be idealistic before they’ve seen the world, it doesn’t take a special mind. However, to remain optimistic, even after you’ve seen the bad and ugly, is a strength.

It’s a strength that we should all try to encompass a bit more. It’s less about expecting something outlandish, and more about trying to get the world as it is to reach a place beyond where you thought it could be. In the original Star Trek series, at one point, Spock and a small crew are stuck in an orbit of a planet with very little fuel and no way of contacting the mother ship. Spock, very logical and calm, decides to use up the rest of their fuel in a manner that gives the ship a visual signal but will leave them for dead if it doesn’t work. It’s a big moment in the series for the character because he decides to take a risk that isn’t carefully controlled for like all the other risks he takes.

What a logical person learned from his human, emotional companions, is that we are capable of more than we think when we are able to be a little foolish and idealistic. If we close ourselves off, we are closed. We are unable to reach our fullest potential. However, if we see a better future and work for it, we can do some amazing things that people would not have expected. We should never underestimate our emotions.