The Power of Effort
Article by Eldin Hasa
Effort is like bathing, recommended daily. To achieve our goals, we need to put in the effort each and every day. On the days that we feel good, and on days when we don’t feel like doing the work. Many people will put in the effort for a short time, and when their effort does not immediately pay off, or they become distracted by life, they stop putting in the daily effort needed to finish and succeed.
Many of the things you do in life can be improved with additional effort. In school, spending more time on a report is likely to lead to a better grade. At work, you might enlist the help of a team member or hire a life/business coach to look over a presentation to increase the chance that you’ll succeed in landing a client. Doing another workout might make you more likely to win an athletic competition.
People Don’t Fail to Succeed — They Fail to Make the Effort to Succeed
Most people fail before they even get the chance to succeed.
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to open the door.
But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.”
95% of the world will never be successful — even though they could be if they wanted to.
Most of these people don’t fail to succeed — in fact, they rarely even reach that stage.
They fail before they even get there, because they don’t even make an effort.
They knock on the door to their dreams once, and run away before anyone even has a chance to open it.
“Success comes through sustained effort.”
Consistency is hard. Yet it’s the only way to lasting success.
When you first start out, your work doesn’t get recognized. As radio host Ira Glass put it, “All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.”
Even we know our work isn’t that good. This is only affirmed by the lack of attention and engagement we experience.
We write dozens of posts. Somehow, we keep going despite zero feedback or any perceived traction. All the while, it seems like everyone is racing past you. You want to quit.
This is what consistency looks like. Because your 42nd article is the one that goes viral — articles 1–41 didn’t get any attention at all.
Most people fail before they even get a chance to succeed. In the face of discouraging returns, most people turn resentfully towards the ones who are winning. Everyone loves them.
“Why even try?” they grumble to themselves in frustration.
You need to be OK with feeling like a loser during this time. That’s what consistency makes you feel like — a loser. A nobody. A fraud, a fake, an impostor.
But these feelings are actually an integral part of the age-old principle of success:
Success takes hard work, usually with no recognition, before you can achieve success.
Lionel Messi, the World's Greatest Footballer
“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year," he says. "It took me 17 years and 114 days to be an overnight success.” He's referring to October 2004 when he made his professional debut for FC Barcelona. Recognize that there is a difference between overnight success and early success.
Although Messi was only 17 years old when he became a professional footballer, his road to success was neither easy nor straightforward.
The overnight success story is a myth.
“You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it.”
“The best decisions aren’t made with your mind, but with your instinct.”
“I have fun like a child in the street. When the day comes when I’m not enjoying it, I will leave football.”
“You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough.”
"It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.”
Don't give way to complacency: It's a sad day, Messi says, when a player thinks there are no more improvements to be made. “Every year, I try to grow as a player and not get stuck in a rut," he adds. "I try to improve my game in every way possible. But that trait is not something I’ve worked on, it’s part of me.” Messi's desire to fight complacency while consistently getting better has been one of the biggest determinants of his success. He has trained himself to "want more, always be my top critic, and accept both the good and the bad."
Be precise in how you approach life: When Messi spends time with his family, he cuts out all outside distractions. When he scores goals, he scores with top-level precision. “In football as in watchmaking, talent and elegance mean nothing without rigor and precision," he says. Messi has a motto that goes like this: "Live life with precision on and off the field." In other words, you should approach your personal and professional life with the same amount of intentionality and passion.
The great basketball player, Michael Jordan said that work ethic, (effort), eliminates fear. By putting in the effort, we know what we are capable of and do not need to be afraid.
Effort teaches us that we can do more than we thought. We learn new skills and abilities when we take the time to put in consistent effort. Every new success that we achieve through our efforts increases our confidence in ourselves and our abilities. Effort keeps us focused on success. As your effort brings you closer to your goal, your motivation and willpower increase as you can taste victory.
“A common characteristic of all successful people is that they produce a substantial body of work in their lifetime.” -
For every week you continue, dozens of others quit.
Frankly— consistency often beats quality.
Most people won’t last on their journey towards achieving true success. Why? Because they are unwilling to put in slow, unsexy work, every day. They are unwilling to continue without seeing instant results.
Fortunately for the rest of us, this serves as fuel when we begin to lose hope. Giving up is so common. It’s everywhere. It’s how the overwhelming majority of people respond to discouragement.
We need only to keep going to gain the edge over everyone else — the quitters.
One word, one paragraph, one article, one day at a time.
Our work may seem subpar and mediocre — but this consistency almost always beats talent, skill, or even quality.
The “failure” of producing work that doesn’t get recognized yet isn’t a failure at all — it’s merely another step up the mountain of your success. Every step is a success, because most people never even make it past the first slope.
In the eyes of those at the bottom, being halfway up the mountain is a monumental success. Most people have never experienced being that high, because they always gave up before that point.
Anyone can make an effort. Anyone can make a continuous effort. Yet people rarely do — they prefer to make excuses, blame external factors, and give up.
But you don’t have to. You just have to keep going.
Success is many steps in one direction, not one step in many directions.
One of the most important parts of success is putting in time and effort every day.
This structure is best applied when a large portion of the work is devoted to a small number of projects, as opposed to small portions of work spread over to several projects.
This means you have to say “no” more. You can’t achieve meaningful and lasting success when you give 5% to 20 different tasks. You can achieve this success when the lion’s share of your attention is spent on 2–3 tasks, max.
Anything to which you apply consistent focus will show progress.
But if you don’t have enough focus to go around, your effort becomes thin, diluted, and minimal.
The average person is juggling a million things on their mind, all the time. They’re worrying about emails they haven’t responded to, a variety of work projects, their commute, social media, the screenplay they’re writing, the podcast they’re creating, and what to eat for dinner.
The extraordinary person is able to narrow their focus and energy on a select few areas, and so achieve extraordinary results.
To protect their time and schedule, successful people have to constantly say no to “good” opportunities that weren't “great:” "No" is the full sentence to them.
Robert Collier once said “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Consistency and a series of purposeful actions will transform the way you work and hone in your chosen craft.
You can be, do and have anything you desire when you improve your emotional quotient, eliminate (heal) pain & self-limiting beliefs and have clarity, confidence and compelling vision of your future, and take (consistently) the daily positive actions to achieve your goals.
Don't overthink it, just do something positive every day, and let the compound effect work for you in achieving your goals.
If you keep taking steps in a single direction, you’ll arrive at success faster than you think.
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