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Effort > Outcome

By: Michael Blankenship |

“If there is one lesson I’ve learned from failure and success, it’s this. I am not the outcome. I am never the result. I am only the effort.”

– Kamal Ravikant

Did you know as astronauts spend months traveling to Mars, their eyeballs change shape? Some scientists believe that’s due to the pressure from fluids that won’t drain from their heads thanks to the low-gravity environment.

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Effort > Outcome

Rejection is uncomfortable. 

It’s also guaranteed if you plan to do anything worthwhile with your life. 

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (the authors of Chicken Soup For The Soul) got rejected 144 times. J.K. Rowling, the renowned author of the Harry Potter series, had her manuscript rejected 12 times before it was accepted by Bloomsbury. The Beatles were famously turned down by Decca Records who said “guitar groups are on the way out.”

These are just a few examples. 

Look at any success story and you’ll find the stepping stones were named defeat, rejection, adversity, and failure.

This common thread among every triumph underscores the reality that in any journey worth embarking upon, hardship is not merely a potentiality; it is a certainty. Each rejection or failure is, in essence, a test, gauging the depth of your commitment, the strength of your resolve, and the true intensity of your desire.

But amidst these varying struggles, disappointments, and rejections, one factor remains entirely within your control and becomes the bedrock for your ultimate success. This factor, often overlooked, yet consistently present, is the effort you put in.

Embracing The Effort

Undeniably, outcomes are important; they are the tangible results of our efforts.

However, if we place too much emphasis on outcomes alone, we risk overlooking the significance of consistent, dedicated effort. So how can we adjust our perspective to focus more on the effort we invest rather than merely the outcomes we desire?

Here are a few practical tips:

Set Process Goals: Rather than focusing solely on outcome-based goals (e.g., “I want to get published”), set process goals that are within your control (e.g., “I will write for two hours every day”). This not only keeps your motivation high but also ensures that you’re making consistent efforts towards your ultimate goal.

Embrace a Growth Mindset: As coined by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is the belief that your abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. When you have a growth mindset, you understand that effort is a path to mastery and that failures are opportunities for learning, not signs of defeat.

Practice Mindfulness: Being present in the moment allows you to focus on the task at hand, rather than obsessing over potential outcomes. Techniques such as meditation or journaling can help foster mindfulness, reducing stress and improving your focus on the effort you’re making now.

Celebrate Small Victories: Recognize and celebrate your progress along the way, even if you haven’t yet reached your ultimate goal. Each step forward is a testament to your effort and dedication.

Embrace The Journey: Josh Spector recommends not doing something at all unless you’re willing to do it 100 times: “It takes time to do something 100 times—no matter what it is. By committing to do so up front, you force yourself to adopt a long-term mindset.” … whatever it is you want to achieve, it takes commitment, consistency, and repetition. By embracing this upfront, it makes letting go of the outcome much easier.

Remember, success is rarely a straight line. It’s a journey filled with twists, turns, and bumps in the road. When we learn to value the effort we put forth each day, rather than solely the outcomes we hope to achieve, we cultivate patience, resilience, and a work ethic that will sustain us throughout our endeavors.

The outcome is just the final product; it’s the journey—the effort we exert—that truly shapes us and our character.

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Video of The Week: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator | TED

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle. The answer is at the bottom of the email!

A bus driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street. He passes the cops, but they don’t stop him. Why?

This Week’s Journaling Prompt

Take some time to think through the following journaling prompt.

Write down your current focus/goal (if you have several, choose one of them). Then, imagine you massively fail. Write about the actual impact this has on you and your life… placing your bruised ego to one side, focus on the reality of failure and what it leads to. Is it as bad as you thought? 

This Week’s Challenge

For the next seven days, shift your focus from outcomes to efforts. Choose one specific goal you’re working towards, and each day, instead of measuring your success by how much closer you are to achieving the goal, concentrate on the quality and consistency of your efforts. Celebrate the hard work and dedication you’re putting in daily. At the end of each day, jot down your effort levels and any progress made, no matter how small. By the end of the week, review your notes and reflect on how this shift in focus from outcomes to effort has influenced your mindset and progress towards your goal.

Riddle Answer: He was walking.

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