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Hard Work Still Has Value In Our Culture Of Instant Gratification

01/26/2016 04:49 EST | Updated 01/26/2017 05:12 EST
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Hispanic woman exercising with weights

What we see all around us flashing in media headlines and on our Facebook feeds is dramatic fame and achievement with seemingly minimum effort. It's infiltrated our approach to just about everything -- from quick-fix diets to overnight success businesses.

This type of achievement is slippery, usually intangible and, at best, very fragile. Unless our progress and achievement is built upon a solid foundation of effort, it can crack and crumble with the mere hint of doubt. Without the foundation of effort, the flimsiest cause can break what we have built.

It can be challenging to recognize why the choices we make on a day-to-day basis matter when we are pummeled from every direction with messages that plant doubt about whether our efforts are all for nothing.

Most often, when it comes to our lives and our daily practices, the root of what we want to know is how we can get the best results with the least amount of effort.

We live in a culture where almost everything we do on a day-to-day basis garners instant gratification. The lottery is built on this desire for us to get big things with little effort.

The reality is that the effort we put in matters. There is reward in working hard for something. In this moment. Today. And for the future we are building.

What we get out of our experience of life is often a direct reflection of the type of effort we put into it. Of course challenges will come. That's a given. But the question comes back to us: what effort are we willing to make to learn, grow, evolve, practice and overcome?

Business success, like health success and relationship success, is a progressive exchange. It relies on us making choices in every given moment to put forth our best effort. It is our responsibly to bring effort to what we do and it is equally our responsibility to either learn from or celebrate the results of our efforts. And we hope that most often the learning and celebration come together. This inspires us to continue putting in effort.

I understand and know how challenging it is when we begin transitioning to live more consciously. Perhaps we recognize that our job is not serving our higher purpose, our lifestyle choices aren't serving our health or our friendships are simply no longer serving anyone involved.  

You look around and think, "Wait a second -- is everything I am doing bad for me? Are the choices I am making bringing me what I am ultimately seeking?"

It can be easy to become overwhelmed with the commitment to our effort, especially if everyday we are exposed to information that may lead us to believe that our efforts still aren't enough.

All of your efforts matter and they all add up to the life you are living today.

If you fail to put effort into having a thriving business and one day you decide you want a different result, your efforts needs to reflect this change.

If you realize you spent the better part of your life ignoring your health and now it needs your attention, how much effort do you think it will take to correct a lifetime of no effort?

If you stop practicing love with your partner for one day, and that one day turns to two and then three and then weeks and months, what level of effort is needed to undo the effects?

Some days we will be more tired than others. Some days it will be harder to put in that effort.

But every day, every bit of effort you can muster, is always worth it.

Rather than become overwhelmed by the thought of having to do it all perfectly right all the time, instead make the commitment to bring your effort. Know that the best things in life don't happen by way of magic and unicorns (though making wishes on unicorns always helps).

The truly great successes in our lives -- the ones that are momentous, celebratory, monumental, game-changing and most awesome -- come as a result of the effort we put in.

Your effort matters.

What I do know is that if we bring our effort every day, we will get results. And when we bring our effort on the really hard days, we may not love the results but we'll be happier for trying. There is value in working hard for something. There is great reward in putting in the effort.

What's most special of all is that when we bring our effort day after day, it becomes our habit. We continue to reap the benefit, and what once took effort has become effortless.

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