virgin islands scene

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


The MONTHLY Motivator - March 2010

Beyond effort

To achieve anything, effort is necessary. But it takes more than effort to get maximum value out of what you do. It takes an inspired performance.

When you think of the word “effort”, and of putting effort into something, effort is often seen as undesirable, as something you want to avoid doing, as in “Oh no, that’s too much effort.”

The place you want to get to is the point where you experience achievement as being effortless. That doesn’t mean that you can avoid taking action. What it does mean is that you get to the point where it feels effortless to achieve. It feels like you’re not making any effort at all. The achievement just seems to flow easily and naturally out of you.

Effort is something that can sound like, seem like and feel like drudgery. What you’re after is inspired performance. What you’re after is to let unique and original value flow easily and naturally out of what you’re doing. That’s what is meant by going beyond effort, so that it seems and feels effortless.

Although effort is necessary, when you’re focused solely on the effort itself, on the specific actions, you’re not doing your best. It’s much better to be in a place where the value is flowing out from your very essence, flowing out from the center of you, so that it’s authentic and it doesn’t require any effort that you’re aware of. When you can get into that space, you’re still busy doing things all the time, with plenty of action, and yet you’re doing them naturally, and they’re coming authentically from you. Because to be your best, you can’t constantly be stopping to think about it. If you have to think about every little detail of what you’re doing, it will overwhelm you and drag you down. You just can’t do it that way and remain effective.

Consider an athlete who is performing at his or her best. That athlete has put years, perhaps decades, into

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--Ralph Marston

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