Today, I want to discuss EFFORT.
Insects and animals are nearly always busy.
They prepare for winter.
They get ready for Spring.
They wash themselves,
clean their nests,
feed their young…
and do all the other things that insects and animals do all day.
They are 100% alive and involved. They appear to be perfectly content.
What can we as humans learn from animals?
I think we can learn powerful things like…
When we are industrious, we are happier.
When we let things slide…It costs us!
Things don’t improve when we neglect them:
Sailors know this about boats.
Athletes know this about their bodies.
Students know this about their minds.
We ALL know this about the state of our garage and basements. 🙂
I love to garden.
I have found that weeds come up automatically.
I don’t have to plant a single weed in order to have a thriving “jungle” of them threatening to overtake my garden.
But if I don’t put forth some effort to control them, I will not enjoy the vegetables that I planted.
The weeds will choke them out and kill the plants.
Things only improve with effort!
Our attitude toward EFFORT is extremely important!
We need to begin today to start putting in the effort because we WANT to do it;
because it is our privilege to be able to use our bodies.
And a appreciate what a joy it is to learn,
To test ourselves,
And most of all what a gift it is to experience the NOW.
The mistake that many people make is to work only for the end results.
They get so busy “working” in order to accomplish something, that they forget to pay attention to the simple pleasure that can be had from the work itself.
The really scary part for me is when I am working only for end results, I become very disappointed if I don’t get the results I desired.
It’s like the salesman that makes all the phone calls, but does not get one single sale. It is natural that he would feel that the day had been a failure.
But…was the day really a complete failure if he got to talk and interact with different people?
If he is making the calls because he WANTS to, he will be able to find delight in his ability to experience new people and ideas through those calls.
If he can adopt the attitude, ” Well I’ll enjoy what I am doing for the sake of doing it. I ‘ll experience my own ALIVENESS while I am doing it and thereby focus my full attention on the task.”
Then any results he gets will simply be a wonderful addition to the experience.
When I am working at the school and the job I am doing is physically challenging, I have trained myself to not focus on how hard the job is, but to rather view it as a form of exercise.
When I do this, I find that the job gets done quickly, and I have a sense of satisfaction because it helped me achieve my weight loss goals in addition to seeing the job finished.
Emerson said, ” The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”
Getting to hung up on results takes us out of the present moment.
It is possible to be always focusing on what is ahead and not on what we are doing.
This approach removes us from the enjoyment of NOW.
As we detach ourselves a little from the results, we can better enjoy what we are doing for the sake of just doing it.
Let’s say you are at your mother-in-laws house, and decide to wash her car as a surprise.
One approach is to spend the whole time thinking, “I am getting really wet out here and she had better appreciate this and thank me profusely or I am going to be very irritated.”
That to me is the attitude of a loser.
The alternative approach could be something like this, “I’m going to enjoy washing this car because I know that when she sees it, even if she doesn’t say anything, she will be pleasantly surprised, and I love knowing that I can make my loved ones smile by doing a kind deed.”
Now, if your mother-in-law showers praise on you for your services, that will be nice, a really great bonus. But if not, your efforts will still bring you joy.
If we can learn to work for the love of working, of being involved, then there is no problem.
Results will always come.
They necessarily MUST! It is a natural law.
However, if the results are delayed, or don’t come when you expect them, you don’t have to let it wreck your entire week, (or year).
RESULTS ALWAYS COME.
How does one begin to work simply for the love of working?
You DECIDE to!
It is just like being happy.
It is a decision.
As James M. Barrie said, ” The secret of being happy is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”
When we change…things change!
I know a lot of people who have spent their entire lives hoping that things will get better. They wish everything was easier, and seem to hope that one day a magic wand will come down and sort out their mess for them.
Things will only get better when we choose to BE better.
What we have in our life stems from what we are.
There is no way around it…
For things to get better, we have to get better.
Today will be much like yesterday unless we put in the effort to change it.
It is extremely important if you are going to learn to love work that you remember these truths.
Sometimes even when you put all you have into whatever your doing, you still may fail.
Even when you put everything you have got into everything you do, you still may feel disappointment.
The answer to that question is simple.
For your own self respect.
When your personal philosophy is, “I will do my best regardless,”
You will ALWAYS stand tall in your own estimation.
Nobody will ever deny that.
But it hurts a whole lot more when you know that you didn’t give it your very best EFFORT!