Effort Is The Real Reward
Discover how a mindset focused on effort and growth can help you cultivate excellence in your leadership journey and in life
As humans, we are driven by goals. Great leaders too, believe in goals. However, they approach it in a slightly different way. While for most of us, our focus is the goal, for great leaders it is just a milestone. They have personal elusive goals which when they get closer to, become milestones, with a new goal out there in the distance waiting to be achieved. This is how they keep pushing themselves to greater things. Great leaders realize one thing early on:
“The goal is not what matters, the effort is the real reward”.
Our goals are like mountains. We put in all the effort to get to the top. But as soon as we get there, we learn very quickly it is not what we thought it would be. And then, we start defining newer measures of success and often end up confused. We try to hang on to the top. We cease to make progress. This has been the downfall for many who made it to the top. They feel completely lost without knowing what to do next. They defined the goal as the end and there was nothing more to achieve.
That is when fear begins to take over.
As leaders, it is important to set goals, but it is more important to build systems to achieve those goals. The real achievement for a leader is when the system works. The actual achievement of the goal is just a moment in time, however, the system that was built to achieve it is the journey, which is more enjoyable. Leaders recognize this and are quick to learn from systems that worked, as well as from the ones that did not work. They move on to the next goal so that they can build out the next system and achieve more goals.
Leaders are always looking to exert the effort to build these systems as this is what really excites them. This effort involves the process of unlearning and subsequent learning, helping them gain wisdom over time. Every effort exerted, results in small rewards in the form of experience. And experience is gold. With every little bit you learn, you are refining yourself and gaining a better understanding of your world.
When you look back at your own wins, what is it that you remember? Yes, for sure you remember the moment of the win. But what is the actual memory that brings a smile? It is the memory and glimpses of all the efforts you put in, to win. The long hours, the several ups and downs, the exhaustion, the state of flow leading all the way to the moment of the win. And you also know all that the efforts made you better than what you were.
Despite all your efforts, some systems will fail. And if you are not really failing it is possible that you are playing it too safe. This may lead to you being stagnant and may leave your growth stunted. Learn to embrace the approach of making goals as tiny milestones and not anything more. This outlook will let you enjoy your process and your own systems and help you be a successful leader at work and in life.
So, to grow and move forward in your professional and personal lives, strive to focus on the effort and unlock the true power of success.
It is not the outcome that matters, rather, it is the effort that matters.
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