“Do my expectations match the level of effort I’m giving?”
Image from Unsplash by Product School
What are your thoughts about the statement You get what you expect? How do your own personal and professional results align with your expectations?
I am all about the power of positivity when and only when our efforts are consistent with our thinking.
In my observations and in lots of social science studies there seems to be a strong correlation between the harder we work, and the luckier we get.
How and where is it necessary to up your level of effort to match the expectations you have for yourself?
Where would raising your expectations and your level of effort be in order?
“At what point in your efforts do you experience the point of diminishing returns? When is enough enough?”
Image from Unsplash by Suzi Kim
What is your profession? How many hours do you typically work each week?
Consider the career of an accountant: seven days and over 80 hours a week is often the norm for many of these folks this time of year.
What about other professions such as those in the medical field during Covid and significant staff shortages?
Maybe you are a homemaker or caregiver with young children or aging parents who also needs to be a breadwinner. If any of these situations sounds familiar, you have likely reached and exceeded the point of diminishing returns.
What are the costs to you and others when you consistently go beyond your limits?
What new or different strategies can you employ when enough is more than enough?
“When you lean in, your risk being hit.”
Image from Unsplash by Nicholas Green
In how many areas of your life do you sit on the sidelines as a spectator?
Where in your personal or professional communities are you playing it safe, avoiding the bumps and bruises of the players on the field?
Whether it is in your career, a competitive sporting event, or even in a significant relationship, leaning in has its risks.
What potential rewards will never be realized if you are always keeping your distance?
Where is it time to lean into something of great importance or urgency?
How can you best prepare yourself for the possible hits you may receive in your efforts to reach some worthy objective?
When is it time to let go or give up so that you can begin something new?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Amazon
Where do you currently feel stalled or stuck in your life? How are you wrestling with the sunk cost of time, effort, and resources where your pivoting is just not paying off? How can you tell when it’s time to quit and when to stick things out?
An approach that has served me over the years is the HHG method. This acronym stands for Head, Heart, and Gut.
In most cases, when I evaluate my endeavors through these three filters, I can move on or stay the course with greater confidence.
Try the HHG method for yourself and let me know what you discover. I also recommend Seth Godin’s classic book “The Dip” as a resource to explore in times of potential transition.
Friday Review: Effort
Where do you put in the most effort in your personal and professional lives? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.
“You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe your sweat.”
“The future is purchased by the present.”
“There’s no ceiling on effort.”
“We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now.”
Image from Amazon
I am currently reading The Carbon Almanac, edited by Seth Godin, who also wrote the Forward. It is a 300+ page book of facts about climate change.
Representing the global efforts of more than three hundred volunteers in over 40 countries, it is the most up to date and well-vetted resource that presents where we are and how we got here, in language that we can all understand.
This book is a call to action to have all people, organizations, and governments come together to meet this moment in time to take care of our world and each other.
Please order, read, and discuss this important book with others in your various communities.
Encourage others to actively participate in this urgent global effort.
“Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
Image from Unsplash by Serena Repice Lentini
What percent of the time do you give your personal and professional activities your very best?
How often do you feel stretched and notice the burn physically, mentally, or emotionally as you take on a particular challenge?
In grade school, I had the opportunity to visit New York and climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. The 162 steps to the top seemed like a million. I recall the heat and shaking in my legs as I tried to keep pace.
No one was stopping to catch their breath on the various platforms, and I sure didn’t want to look like a slacker in front of my friends.
Twenty minutes or so from my first step, I received my crowning reward, seeing the panoramic view of New York’s skyline, including the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and the Empire State Building.
Where in your world are you holding back your best efforts?
Where would taking those extra steps place you at a higher point to both see and pursue even greater personal and professional excellence?
“Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now.”
Image from Unsplash by Ismael Paramo
How satisfied are you with your life? Examine who you are on the inside and take a look on the outside to explore your intrinsic and extrinsic accomplishments.
How do your observations compare to the answers you would have offered from 5, 10, or even 20 years ago?
Which of your efforts — based on what you wanted — have come to fruition, and how pleased are you today?
Take the time today to count your many blessings. How rich do you feel?
Consider having a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague to expand the value of this exercise to more fully appreciate how far you have come.
“Nobody notices what you do until you do not do it.”
Image from Unsplash by John Cameron
How tired do you feel at the end of a long, challenging day?
Before you head to bed tonight, look at all you did personally and professionally to serve and support others.
How much gratitude and sincere appreciation came your way?
Alternatively, how much and how many of your efforts seemed to be taken for granted or were simply expected by those around you?
Who would notice and what would they notice if you did not fulfill your duties?
Now reverse the situation and look closely at what all the people in your world do for you. Where are you missing or taking for granted the multitude of efforts of others due to your ingrained expectations?
These days, perhaps more than ever, we need to see all people as essential workers who make our lives much better for their generous efforts.
How might paying closer attention to the big and small efforts of others, and a few more words of acknowledgment and appreciation help all of us fall to sleep tonight with a smile of satisfaction?