Regularly Scheduled Maintenance: The perils of being effortless

Over the past three years I have learned some pretty big lessons about relationships, careers, and happiness. Recently, one of the most reoccurring themes in these lessons, is effort. It may seem like a simple idea, but looking back on all my successes and failures in life so far, any time something has gone either extremely well or terribly wrong, there is a direct correlation to the amount of effort put into it. It is so easy to fall victim to depression, self-doubt, anger, resentment, and even pride; all regrettably and undoubtedly lending way to make excuses for lacking effort.

Imagine you have a friend looking for work. One day, your friend calls you asking for a ride to a job interview, and naturally, being the good friend you are, you say, “Of course! I would love to drive you to the job interview!” So, the following day you pick your friend up to drive them across town toward new horizons. Meanwhile, your car, long since paid off, has been neglected of its regular oil changes and the engine locks up on the highway en route. Due to your loss of interest in caring for what is yours, your friend misses the opportunity of a lifetime and is inadvertently propelled into a downward spiral of part time, minimum wage, and past due bills!

Yes, this seems dramatic and likely implausible, but the truth of it is, there is a very similar relationship between effort and success. Whether it means bringing your partner their favorite treat from the market on a day when their bad habits are grating your nerves, or working that extra hour when you feel your boss has already capitalized enough of your precious time, the level of effort you put in drives the level of success resulting from it.

Challenge yourself: For one week, when you wake up in the morning, choose something you will do to exhibit extra effort toward one area of your life, and see what kind of difference it makes.

Safe travels,

Zach

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