Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - April 2012

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Making the effort

One of the biggest enemies of achievement is the assumption that effort is undesirable. Sometimes it is a more refined assumption that certain efforts are undesirable. To instill achievement, you must completely rid yourself of that assumption.

One very good way to do that is to consider how your life would be if you were not able to make any effort at all. Think of yourself, for example, as a tree. A tree is a beautiful and wonderful thing. I have many of them on my property and enjoy them immensely. Trees can teach us much about acceptance and about allowing. After all, trees grow by allowing water and nutrients to come to them. And that’s the point. They make no effort.

If you were a tree, you would not have to make any effort. You would also not ever be able to move even a few feet from where you were born. Yes, it’s an effort for you to learn to walk. However, look where it gets you. It’s an effort to learn to drive, and to make car payments and to fill your tank with gas, but look where it can get you. It’s an effort to learn new skills, and yet just consider how much value you can bring into your life and into the world by making use of those skills (which, by the way, requires even more effort).

Yes, effort can be painful, inconvenient, embarrassing, complicated, tedious and even dangerous. In just about every case, however, effort is worth all that. Because effort gives you options. In fact, the ability to put forth effort gives you options that are pretty much unlimited. It was enormous quantities of effort, for example, that enabled human beings to travel through space and walk on the surface of the Moon. It is effort that has lifted billions of people out of poverty and despair, and continues to do so every day at an accelerating pace. Effort cures diseases and increases life spans. Effort makes dreams of every description to come to life. Effort lights cities at night and puts food on billions of tables every day. Effort brings clean water to the middle of the desert and gourmet dining to cruise ship passengers in the middle of the ocean. Effort amuses, entertains, protects, educates, transports and comforts countless people every day.

One more thing effort does very, very well. It satisfies. There is no feeling that can replace the feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference. Everybody has a burning desire to matter. It is a fundamental part of being alive. Effort, whether it is mental, physical or spiritual, is the primary means by which you can make a difference in this life. Effort enables you to matter.

So why would you want to avoid effort? You don’t. By default, you have a passionate desire to constantly and effectively put forth effort. You were born with it. Spend a few minutes observing a two-year-old child. Her whole world is effort, one joyous effort after another.

Here’s the only difference between a two-year-old’s efforts and your efforts.


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—Ralph Marston