What is effort?
The word effort is derived from the Latin ‘ex fortis’ meaning ‘out strong’. In more modern time it is:
- a laborious attempt
- strenuous exertions
- an exertion of power.
Sounds hard right?
Effort IS hard. Sustaining that effort to achieve a long-term goal is often helped by creating lasting habits that propel you forward, managing your time well and breaking larger goals into smaller, more achievable targets. We all know how to eat an elephant right? One bite at a time – but where do you start?
When we suddenly get an idea that we want to achieve a certain something (like eating an elephant), we are often:
It’s not long though before our energy dissipates and we feel our very purpose waning. It seems like such a huge task that we don’t even start! Leg first? Trunk first? So much to do – so little time, an ever-growing ‘to do’ list but only 1,440 minutes in every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I know I’ve been going on about physics lately, but let’s go back to our Newton’s Laws for a moment (bear with me this won’t be a high school physics lesson I promise). Take our object; well it’s just going to sit there until something or someone comes along and applies some force to it to get it to move. What is the ‘force’ we’re talking about – EFFORT.
I’ve been listening to a LOT of podcasts lately like this one, from NPR “How I Built This” about Sarah Blakely – the inventor of every woman’s best friend SPANX and another about the inventors of Instagram!
In every instance the one thing that stood out was the amount of EFFORT that these people had to expend to achieve their goals of making really weird underwear, and an life-oversharing app that has a squillion users!
The amount of effort we need to expend to achieving our goal (eating that elephant) is proportional to the size of the goal itself and the benefits you might achieve from it. The bigger the goal the more energy, effort and WORK you have to do!
It makes sense then to break that goal down into much smaller bites – it’s difficult to sustain such HUGE amounts of effort for long periods of time. I don’t want to stop you dreaming big- far from it – but I do want you to think about how you might shave off smaller portions to ensure you don’t burn out, lose faith, and give up!
I have a plan….call me if you need help with deciding which bit of that elephant to eat first!
Effort is everything!