Work For Your Lunch
This was originally published in my free weekly newsletter, How It Actually Works.
So in the middle of apartment shopping we decided to do the cliché San Francisco thing and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.
It’s not a particularly long route (< 10 miles) but it is uphill for most of the way there, including a very steep portion right before the bridge.
I’d already done it twice with friends and family and was happy to never do it again, but my SO really wanted to go so we compromised and decided to go.
The whole time I’m huffing and puffing, it’s a pain in the ass, it’s cold, etc.
But as I’m riding I realize I’m getting hungry. And that’s good, since I rarely experience physical hunger.
So when I do, I know the next meal is going to be awesome. (And it was. We got burgers.)
Everything in life tastes better when you’re worked for it.
Made a bunch of money? Feels better when it’s earned.
In a great relationship? You feel closer when you’ve struggled together.
In a rewarding job? Feels better when you’re working towards a lofty goal.
There’s even research that says the best way to get the most performance out of employees is to get them the hardest problems possible, and the tools they need to fix them.
To be clear, this does not mean go looking for difficulty. Or that pain is implicitly good. Suffering can be just suffering and nothing else.
But when suffering is on the path to some greater goal, embrace it. Use it as a reminder that meaning is found in the pursuit of things greater than our individual selves.
So work for your lunch. It’ll taste better that way.
If you liked this essay....
Then consider signing up for my newsletter, How It Actually Works.
It contains the best material I find anywhere – this means books, articles, podcasts, research, videos, Twitter threads... the most interesting stuff that will give you something to say.
1,000s of Silicon Valley executives, investors, and leaders read it every week.