Effort > Results

sweat puddles
Little puddles of effort

I’ve noticed I spend a lot of time looking at other peoples’ results. This isn’t a bad thing, looking at what others have accomplished and thinking about whether they got results I want in my life.

There are a lot of results I do want: more money, the ability to accomplish amazing feats, the confidence to hammer out coherent text from a jumble of thoughts and inspiration. And it’s easy to sit in that place of want, where I see what they accomplished and wish I could do that.

But it’s hard to look at all the effort it took for them to be able to do that. Watching professional snowboarders fly through the air while spinning and flipping and effortlessly ride away is almost an insult to them. We get to see the end result, the effortless-ness, and be amazed at their skill.

Part of my brain tells me, “That looked easy. We can do that.” And that part of brain wants to go try.

The truth, though, is that I haven’t put in the effort. My body hasn’t built up the right muscles, my brain hasn’t learned the minute adjustments needed to get my body to move that way, and my fear of heights hasn’t been beaten into submission so it doesn’t lock me up the instant I leave the lip of the jump.

And the effort is necessary. The hundreds of repetitions required to understand how my body behaves; the pain of all the wipeouts when I get it wrong; the small victories that build one on another until success. They’re all necessary; but I’ve been too impatient to follow all the way through the learning process. I just want the result.

But I’m changing that. I’m embracing the effort. Well . . . embracing might be a little strong. At least I’m making the effort.

Effort is greater than results. Because when we just focus on the result, that’s the end. No more progress, no more learning, no more effort.

But if we focus on putting in effort, the possibilities are endless. When we put in effort, we get results. And then we get more results. As long as we keep putting in effort, we can tweak our effort to get the results we want.

But we have to put in effort.

EFFORT > results