Effort Shock

- POSTED ON: Jan 23, 2013

 


Effort Shock is discovering that what you want
costs a whole lot more effort than you thought it would.


 Weight-Loss and Weight-Loss Maintenance is a good example of this.
See more about Effort Shock in the excellent article below - written by David Wong of Cracked.


“I think The Karate Kid ruined the modern world.

Not just that movie, but all of the movies like it (you certainly can't let the Rocky sequels escape blame). Basically any movie with a training montage.

You know what I'm talking about; the main character is very bad at something, then there is a sequence in the middle of the film set to upbeat music that shows him practicing. When it's done, he's an expert.

It seems so obvious that it actually feels insulting to point it out. But it's not obvious. Every adult I know--or at least the ones who are depressed--continually suffers from something like sticker shock (that is, when you go shopping for something for the first time and are shocked to find it costs way, way more than you thought). Only it costs effort. It's Effort Shock.

We have a vague idea in our head of the "price" of certain accomplishments, how difficult it should be to get a degree, or succeed at a job, or stay in shape, or raise a kid, or build a house. And that vague idea is almost always catastrophically wrong.

Accomplishing worthwhile things isn't just a little harder than people think; it's 10 or 20 times harder. Like losing weight. You make yourself miserable for six months and find yourself down a whopping four pounds. Let yourself go at a single all-you-can-eat buffet and you've gained it all back.

So, people bail on diets. Not just because they're harder than they expected, but because they're so much harder it seems unfair, almost criminally unjust. You can't shake the bitter thought that, "This amount of effort should result in me looking like a panty model."

It applies to everything. America is full of frustrated, broken, baffled people because so many of us think, "If I work this hard, this many hours a week, I should have (a great job, a nice house, a nice car, etc). I don't have that thing, therefore something has corrupted the system and kept me from getting what I deserve, and that something must be (the government, illegal immigrants, my wife, my boss, my bad luck, etc)."

I really think Effort Shock has been one of the major drivers of world events. Think about the whole economic collapse and the bad credit bubble. You can imagine millions of working types saying, "All right, I have NO free time. I work every day, all day. I come home and take care of the kids. We live in a tiny house, with two shitty cars. And we are still deeper in debt every single month." So they borrow and buy on credit because they have this unspoken assumption that, dammit, the universe will surely right itself at some point and the amount of money we should have been making all along (according to our level of effort) will come raining down.

All of it comes back to having those massively skewed expectations of the world. Even the people you think of as pessimists, they got their pessimism by continually seeing the world fail to live up to their expectations, which only happened because their expectations were grossly inaccurate in the first place.

You know that TV show where Gordon Ramsay tours various failing restaurants and swears at the owners until everything is fine again? Every episode is a great example. They all involve some haggard restaurant owner, a half a million dollars in debt, looking exhausted into the camera and saying, "How can we be losing money? I work 90 hours a week!"

The world demands more. So, so much more. How have we gotten to adulthood and failed to realize this? Why would our expectations of the world be so off? I blame the montages. Five breezy minutes, from sucking at karate to being great at karate, from morbid obesity to trim, from geeky girl to prom queen, from terrible garage band to awesome rock band.

In the real world, the winners of the All Valley Karate Championship in The Karate Kid would be the kids who had been at it since they were in elementary school. The kids who act like douchebags because their parents made them skip video games and days out with their friends and birthday parties so they could practice, practice, practice. And that's just what it takes to get "pretty good" at it. Want to know how long it takes to become an expert at something? About 10,000 hours, according to research.

That's practicing two hours a day, every day, for almost 14 years.

Nobody told me how hard this was going to be.

See "Rocky" Training Montage below:


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Existing Comments:

On Jan 23, 2013 jethro wrote:
According to research, I should be a diet expert. I've been on a diet most DAYS of the week since 1981.


On Jan 23, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Me too, Jethro. At least since 1958 for me, it's amazing how one's personal Denial returns again and again, and how resistant our minds can be to the Truth of it all.


On Jan 23, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
I too am an 'expert' at losing weight. My wife and I figured it out yesterday...Since 1981 I have lost 100 plus pounds SEVEN times!!! This time it will be 117 pounds so that will be EIGHT times. Not once have I been able to keep it off for more than three years. This time will be different as I am getting too old for this!


On Jan 23, 2013 Dr. Collins wrote:
             John, I admire the fact that even though you KNOW the realities of losing weight, and the even harder task of long-term maintenance, you are still putting forth the effort.

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