We have always heard that you need to work hard to become successful. This is true for a variety of reasons. Well, first, when whoever it is that is responsible for bestowing success upon you observes your hard-working attitude in comparison that that of your peers, then all things being equal he or she is likely to want to entrust success and its accompanying responsibility onto you seeing that you are suited for it. But that’s not why I am writing this essay. There is another even more pertinent, and perhaps under-emphasized reason why putting effort cuts the chase to success. And it is this: Putting effort helps you tell very quickly when a thing is not worth doing.
Before going further let us put a solid definition behind what it means to be successful in the context of this essay. I will define being successful as the state of doing or having things that bring you lasting happiness and make you feel like you are fulfilling your life’s purpose.
Now to the point of telling when a thing is worth doing. If you put in mediocre effort into an endeavour you greatly desire, there is a chance you will succeed, however minuscule that chance may be. If you succeed, then good luck! Maybe that activity is actually easier than your envisaged or you are just plain lucky. But chances are that you will not succeed. Now if in the more likely situation you do not succeed in that endeavour, then there are two possible solutions: 1. You need to put in more effort in that same activity. 2. You need to do another activity altogether.
As you can see, you have reached a moment of indecision. You can’t say with hundred percent certainty that the activity you are partaking in is indeed worth your while at all. So you may as well repeat the same endeavour, but with greater and more appropriate effort. Now again after repeating the endeavour with greater rigour and preparation, there is still a chance of success and failure. If the activity was worth engaging in in the first place, then your odds of succeeding will be increased. On the other hand, if the activity was a terrible idea in the first place, then you will find out only after a second attempt. Note that it may take several attempts to weed out all the possibilities of unfavourable results stemming from lack of effort, depending on how much care and effort you exert when carrying out the activity.
If, on the other hand, you put in your best during the first try, then there will be much less uncertainty why things turn out the way they do in the event that the results are unfavourable. At least it won’t be for mediocre effort. As a result you will quickly reach the point where you ask yourself if a thing is worth doing at all or not. Upon great thought on this question, there is a chance you may discover that the activity wasn’t even worth doing in the first place and you will be able to, with a clear conscience, let go of such activity and take on more lucrative ventures.
Here’s an example to put some meat on the bone of the issue. A guy named Bob wants to spend time with a girl. He gets some food cooked, makes little effort to clean up the house, makes a quick and dirty attempt at entertainment, doesn’t bother to take a shower due to waking up late, then invites her over. The girl comes over, spends a little time and rushes off, leaving Bob in utter bewilderment as to why she didn’t hang out with him as he expected. Well, on thorough thought, he may come to ask himself many questions: Is she the right girl? Could I have worked a little more on the food? Could I have cleaned the house a little more? Could I have done a little more in the way of entertainment to keep her interested? Should I have had a good shower and dressed better before seeing her (obviously)?
As you can see, Bob has many things to consider. On the other hand, let’s assume another guy Sam wants to hang out with a girl. Before she comes he gets a lot of assorted food made, does a thorough job in cleaning the house, makes conscientious effort to provide good entertainment, has a bath and dresses in clean clothes. When the girl arrives assume Sam makes solid effort to keep her entertained and give her a good time. If this same girl rushes off without having a genuine emergency, then Sammy will find it much easier to reach the point where he asks if the girl is even worth his time or not. Why? Because he won’t have to ask if the problem was due to a dirty environment, poor entertainment, or poor effort in the nutritional department. He will be able to put his relation with such girl into perspective quickly in light of the question and reach an appropriate decision which will augur well with his conscience. This is the power of putting good effort into whatever we do each and every time.
In conclusion, it really pays to put in one’s possible best into any activity worth doing at all because it makes it easier for us to earn the trust of our fellow man, but also because it helps us reach major decisions quicker in our lives, act quicker, and become successful quicker.