"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

The Effort Effect

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Why are some motivated by failure, spurred on to greater effort, but others are discouraged and give up?

The answer lies in how they EXPLAIN the outcome to themselves. Some choose to interpret “failure” as merely a stepping stone, part of the learning process, evidence they need to try harder, longer or try a different route. Others decide that they simply lack the inherent necessary ability and give up. After all, if you decide you lack the intrinsic capability, what is the point of wasting further effort?

In essence, do you view ability as something essentially fixed and inherent or is ability something that can be learned and developed?

Surprise, surprise: those that viewed ability as something that can be enhanced with effort, improved with practice, and developed with determination tended to succeed more often. This can be labeled “The Effort Effect” i.e. greater effort has a positive effect on outcomes.

That optimism yields great benefits is not news; Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Normal Vincent Peale’s ‘The Power of a Positive Mental Attitude’ and virtually every self-help book published since have stressed the importance of positivity. However, “To Know and Not Do is To Not Know” i.e. the challenge is always to “Do as Well as We Know”, to be self-aware enough and motivated enough to recall the relevant necessary info (IQ based or EQ or both) at the critical moment of decision/action. That is one reason I am so fond of quotes and affirmations; they act as memory “tabs” on whole folders of knowledge.

Repetition and immersion are two excellent learning tactics, which is why I repeat core themes, hopefully always from slightly different perspectives. Your beliefs, positive or negative, powerfully impact your life for “What we focus on expands” and “Thoughts held in mind, attract in kind.”

Closing Quotes:

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – From the essay “Walking” by Henry David Thoreau

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.” Winston Churchill, 1874-1965

“Think you can, think you can’t, you are right.” – Henry Ford, 1863-1947

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

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