Do we most value the things that are difficult to attain?

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” – Thomas Paine


When one watches the Olympic Games, the focus is on the performance of the athlete. All the blood, sweat, and tears are often long forgotten. What the audience overlooks is the amount of struggle, pain, and pressure that has been placed on them. The media often focuses on the medal winners, the difficult journey that has resulted in a medal, which is extremely valued in our modern day society. One can certainly acquiesce  to Thomas Paine’s quote. The more difficult the situation, the greater the taste of success.

Within the past year I received some awards. I entered many competitions trying to pursue my love in writing and interest among other things. The harder it was to win, the prizes and achievement of winning, gave me a greater sense of accomplishment. I feel this has to do with the harder the situation, the achievement of our goals was more greatly sought after, praised upon, and felt of. For instance, if one was to win a national contest compared to a local contest. One can understand and feel a larger accomplishment and feel better about oneself by completing the bigger goal. Not only does harder conflict result in glorious triumph, but the hard work spent is of prominent recognition.

In 2008, cheers in Beijing echoes all the nations, as a feat that had never been accomplished, was scored by Michael Phelps with his eight gold medals. Looking back into Michael’s victories he quoted that, ” if I wanted to win, I was going to have to work two times as harder than everyone else.” He did not take any breaks during holidays, birthdays, or even power outages. When others were having fun, he was swimming around six hours a day. With all the effort put into swimming, the results achieved by him were very deserving. There is no substitute for hard work, and once you invest your time and effort, it will eventually pay off.


What are your thoughts on this two sided argument? Do we most value the things that are difficult to attain?

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