“Continuous effort– not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.—Winston Churchill
An Olympic Gold Medal. What name comes to mind when you think of Olympic Gold? First, I think of Michael Phelps, the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16)
Then, there is Simone Biles, who is a five-time World all-around champion (2013–15, 2018–19), five-time World floor exercise champion (2013–15, 2018–19), three-time World balance beam champion (2014–15, 2019), two-time World vault champion (2018–19), a six-time United States national all-around champion (2013–16, 2018–19), and a member of the gold-medal-winning American teams at the 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Additionally, she is a three-time World silver medalist (2013 and 2014 on vault, 2018 on uneven bars) and a three-time World bronze medalist (2015 on vault, 2013 and 2018 on balance beam). Having won a combined total of thirty Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and the third most decorated gymnast of all time
They are just two examples of someone willing to put forth an extreme effort to achieve outstanding results.
Think of the dedication, determination, strength of will that they used to achieve their goals—quite an achievement.
You could also think of someone who is a successful business person, such as Elon Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, among many other endeavors. https://www.biography.com/business-figure/elon-musk
Also, Steve Jobs who was an American business magnate, entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc., the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney Company‘s board of directors following its acquisition of Pixar, and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. Jobs is widely recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs
Were they intelligent? Yes, but there is much more to the story of their success. Did they put in an extreme amount of effort? Absolutely! Without the dedication, determination, and strength of their will to succeed, they would not have been successful.
So what about us? Most people will never be able to match themselves to Phelps, Biles, Musk, or Jobs. They are exceptional, and they worked for every bit of their success. Their effort was extraordinary.
We can be more successful. We need to be willing to put in the effort. It is the amount of effort put in that makes the difference.
Seth Godin puts it all into perspective; “People really want to believe effort is a myth…. I think we’ve been tricked by the veneer of lucky people on the top of the heap. We see the folks who manage to skate by or who get so much more than we think they deserve, and it’s easy to forget that these guys are the exceptions…. For everyone else, effort is directly related to success….and that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.”
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of effort is “the conscious exertion of power: hard work.”
I am not sure people think about the amount of effort required to complete a job or project. We think about, and plan for, the time, any tools required, and will it cost anything, but we do not schedule in the amount of effort.
It is about your mindset. What does it mean to you? What value does it have? What are you going to get out of it? Does it make you feel good?
What we do not usually think about is the importance of each day. What did you do yesterday, or last week, or last month? Can you look back and say, that it was a good day, week, or month?
When you feel good about something, and it makes you feel happy, content, or proud, think about why. How much effort did you put into it?
So many of us look back at our lives, and we are disappointed and wish we had done something better. We wish we had spent more time with someone, been more successful, had more money, a better education, etc.
We may blame other people, unexpected events, blah, blah, blah. It is so easy to blame someone or something else.
What we forget is that the one thing we have control over and is our responsibility is the amount of effort we put into what we do.
When you think of Phelps, Biles, Musk, and Jobs, you know they put in the effort. It is their years of work and an astounding effort that gave them success. It was a massive, sustained effort done day in and day out for years.
“What keeps so many people back is simply unwillingness to pay the price, to make the exertion, the effort to sacrifice their ease and comfort.”Orison Marden https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orison_Swett_Marden
Is there a way to learn to put an increased amount of effort into what you do?
Good question. I do not have an answer. I believe that putting effort into what you do is an intentional act.
Each of us has to be mindful. Perhaps establishing the habit to start and end each day with quiet time to think about what we want to achieve that day. Then ask ourselves what effort you are willing to expend.
If we become more intentional about our actions, our dreams, and desires for our life, we should become more aware of the value of increased effort in everything we do.
There is a direct relationship between joy and effort. The joy of success is in ratio to the amount of effort expended to achieve it.”Denis Waitley
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!