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Quick Thought   Leave a comment

Often when we seem to be struggling we’re given the advice by a well meaning friend to just try harder.  If you aren’t succeeding then you aren’t giving it enough effort.  Just keep adding to your effort until you accomplish your goal.

The problem with this is the assumption that you aren’t trying hard enough.  And it’s just that, an assumption.  Let me explain with an analogy.  Say I have a wheelbarrow full of rocks that I want to get to the other side of the hill.  I start pushing the heavy wheelbarrow forward and the steeper the hill gets, the harder I keep pushing.  After a while my progress stops despite the fact that I’m pushing as hard as I can.  Slowly I go backwards as I tire out until I find myself back at the bottom.  The next time I get a running start, hoping the extra momentum will carry me over.  But as before I come to a halt and then slowly go backwards down the hill.  You can encourage and cheer me on all you want, the hill is just too high and steep for me to push the heavy wheelbarrow over.

And therein lies the error with the assumption.  It was never that I wasn’t working hard enough.  I gave it my all.  The problem was that I wasn’t working smart enough.  In being fixated on getting it over the hill, and devoting all my energies there, it never occurred to me to take it around the hill.  It never occurred to me to adjust my strategy.

So as you go about your life, consider the “hills” you’re trying to get over.  If you’ve been working your hardest to do it and still not getting results, reconsider your game plan.  Look for ways you can go around your hill.  Or maybe the solution is to go thru the hill.  But continuing to put in extra effort on doing something that clearly isn’t netting you results isn’t being disciplined, it’s being wasteful.

So stop trying so hard, start trying so smart.  Have a great day.

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