In this chapter of the book, Gladwell describes the story of Mr. and Mrs. Borgenicht, who were poor, Jewish immigrants who came to America looking for the American dream and they found prosperity by producing children’s aprons. Albeit they worked long, grueling hours, they made enough money for it to be worth their efforts, which made it meaningful to them. Gladwell proclaims in agreement to the said quote by stating, “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning” (Gladwell 150).
Gladwell is correct, although to an extent. If one is doing a task that is neither independent, challenging yet manageable, or there is no correlation between effort and reward, then that is in fact unsatisfying. Gladwell puts this into a personal thought by expressing, “If I offered you a choice between being an architect for $75,00 a year and working in a tollbooth every day for the rest of your life for $100,000 a year, which would you take? I’m guessing the former, because there is complexity, autonomy, and a relationship between effort and reward in doing creative work, and that’s worth more to most of us than money” (Gladwell 150).
For some people, however, they may justify the amount of money they are getting paid for a specific job, albeit they may not enjoy it because they are able to elude their brain into enjoying the work if they are keeping their “eye on the prize” (payment). Although, this is not entirely true as because if one does not have a genuine interest in a job, then it may be impossible for them to produce quality work or do any work at all, obtain promotions, and building knowledge of a task that doesn’t interest anyone.
Yes, if one has no money or a very low income, no matter what job one possesses, it will make them miserable. Low income presents emotional pain with can lead to disastrous results and a poorer quality of life. Research by the National Academy of Sciences determined that “Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000” (http://www.pnas.org/content/107/38/16489). In conclusion, if one stays consistent with their goals by doing what they love, it is most definitely possible to become successful down the road.