Whew, we made it over the hump and there are just a more days before Christmas will be here. This is probably one of the most exciting weeks of the year as we prepare to enjoy family, friends, and loved ones.
The day isn't even here and I can honestly say that I have almost all that I could ask for this holiday season. My mother arrived safely back in country with two of my favorite little people so they can all spend the holiday with family.(I will be there in spirit) The holidays always make me appreciate how fortunate I am to have so many people all over the world that care about me. Although I haven't been home to spend a holiday with my family since Thanksgiving of 2009, I am always around my adopted/extended family. The older I get, the more I appreciate the simplicity of the holiday season and being around the people that you care about while you can.
Looking at the clock right now I should be sleep, but between the cold I am coming down with and the random thoughts running through my head I'm wide awake. For at least the last couple of days I am thinking that conversations and encounters with others have been steering me to these lingering thoughts that I'm having. It's ironic that just last week I was asking the question "Are you prepared to finish?" And now I am sitting here trying to wrap my mind around the role that effort plays in so many facets our lives.
Coincidentally, before I started organizing my thoughts to figure out the direction I was going in, ESPN's Mike and Mike was talking about effort this morning. One of the examples they gave was with the last 2 weeks of the NFL schedule you have teams that have been eliminated from the playoffs playing teams that are headed to the playoffs. On the surface you have a team that has something to play for and a team that essentially doesn't have anything to play for. Well, that is not 100% true as everyone on the field no matter which team they are on has something to play for. The players on the non-playoff team have just as much to play for as there could be a coaching change and their job status the following year could be even more uncertain. Whether or not there's something on the line right now or in the future, there's reason for all players to give 100% effort.
At this hour, I couldn't have asked for a better example to help me lay out my thoughts about effort. The year will essentially be over in a little over a week and I am sure that we all have goals that we laid out January 1st that we may or may not have met in some form or fashion. Did you meet all your goals? If you didn't, why not? What kind of effort were you giving?
As I pose these questions I think more about my efforts in many areas of my life right now. I am asking myself the questions too, but also giving some additional food for thought about our efforts. In society these days I think there a lot of people who look for the biggest reward with a minimal amount of effort required. Last time I checked effort and reward do not have an inverse relationship.
What is it that motivates you to give your best? Family? Friends? Success?
Fear of failure?
What kind of effort are giving now at this stage of your life? In your family? Career? Relationships with others? Spiritual Life?
What are you willing to give maximum effort for? Why?
I am sure that I haven't scratched the service with the concept of effort, but I hope that I laid a pretty strong foundation about effort. One of the most amazing things about our efforts is that it doesn't stop with us, as we have the checks and balances of the world on our side as people around us witness our efforts. I am so thankful for my friends/loved ones that often provide that needed check of my efforts. And I think because of that, I am more worried about disappointing them than I am letting myself down.
All I can say is no matter what, put your best foot forward as there is always someone watching. The rewards may come when you want them, but your efforts will not go unnoticed. I challenge you to start small by putting maximum effort into living your life and being amazing. I am confident that everything else will fall into place after that.
Happy Holidays to you and yours and wishing you a prosperous New Year!
“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.”
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”
“If you can't excel with talent, triumph with effort.”
“The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized - and never knowing”
“We are responsible for the effort, not the outcome”
“Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.”
“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.”
“The real tragedy is the tragedy of the man who never in his life braces himself for his one supreme effort, who never stretches to his full capacity, never stands up to his full stature”