Effort isn’t rewarded these days. By nature, human beings judge success from the lifestyles of the advantaged class. The name of the game these days is convenience. We wish to possess that which will do our labors, so we buy machines and gadgets for every possible use. Don’t like cleaning? We have washers, dryers, self-cleaning ovens, and even robot vacuums. Hate cooking? We have pasta makers, bread makers, frozen entrees, and of course drive-thru windows at fast food restaurants. Too lazy to find something to watch on television? We have DVRs that will record shows without being asked to. We even have convenient ways of doing irrelevant tasks. Cellphone apps number in the thousands. How many will we ever use more than once? But we just have to have them.
In the end, what matters most is the ratio of effort to accomplishment. He who accomplishes a modest amount with minimal effort gains the respect, nay envy, of his peers. He who accomplishes a lot but with a tremendous amount of effort is acknowledged to be accomplished yet dismissed as an anachronism. And we wonder why we produce so much mediocrity . . .
No one is happy with mediocrity. Of course, success has never been analogous to happiness which follows its own peculiar Muse. True happiness is often a lonely game and rarely a source of envy. You must build a world with your own two hands under the weight of disbelief.