Effort. This post should have been an easy one to write. There’s information all over the place about effort. Our slogan this season at the Dojo is, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Of course, you can also add something one of my favorite physicists, Albert Einstein, said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Okay, so he’s the only physicist I know by name, but still, passionately curious is all about effort. Ask Google, and it will find you page after page of quotes regarding effort, effort vs. talents, and studies that have been conducted comparing talent vs. effort. So why, didn’t this post just write itself?
Well, because it’s all in the effort. It would be so easy to string together a whole slew of quotes from the internet. “Winning is not everything, but making the effort to win is,” from Vince Lombardi, or “whatever your 100% looks like, give it,” source unknown. “Continuous effort! Not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential,” by Winston Churchill. But, where’s the effort in that? No, effort isn’t easy. Instead of quotes, I decided to share a couple of stories about effort.
Effort isn’t easy
It wasn’t easy when I started taking karate at age 38. I wasn’t the fastest, strongest, most flexible, or anywhere close to the youngest in my class, but that didn’t stop me. I loved it, and I always have given 100 percent effort on the mat every time I’m in class. (I have done my fair share of groaning, don’t get me wrong, but I think that’s just a coping mechanism.) I won’t lie; it’s not easy. My muscles ache, I drip with sweat after every class, and I smell pretty gross, too, but I will not quit. When I took my black belt test in March 2015, I knew I wasn’t the fastest, or youngest, or best candidate on the test. There were kids who could beat me in technical skills any day of the week, but there was one way I knew they would never beat me – with effort. I went into that test telling myself, no, knowing that no one would work harder than I would on that test. I gave every ounce of effort in me on that test and left it all on the mat. I know to this day that no one beat my effort that night.
Effort is worth it
Perhaps one of the best known stories about effort truly paying off is that of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. A recent Forbes article listed Johnson as the highest paid actor of 2015 with earnings of $64.5 million. For an actor to earn insane amounts of money is not unusual, but the way he earned his money is what is so remarkable. According to a number of sources, in 2015 alone, Johnson had at least eight films in some stage of production, at least three television shows or movies he produced, his Seven Bucks Production Company, a number of WWE appearances, and he still finds time to eat, train, and sleep! While it’s easy to argue that there are a number of more talented actors out there, there’s no argument that The Rock works harder than all of them. As he said, “Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room.” He definitely is.
So there you have it. Success isn’t easy. Whether it’s working your tail off to reach a goal of earning a black belt, or being the top earner in the world at your profession, there’s a common thread in each of our stories- hard work, also known as effort. It’s not always easy to put forth the effort, but nothing truly worth doing is easy.