Overemphasizing talent, skill, and knowledge is easy for us to do. But regardless of what you are pursuing, there is one thing infinitely more powerful. And everyone has the power to tap into this superpower.
It is called effort, and it’s only limited by our willpower.
This idea reminded me of a song I was a big fan of in High School by Puff Daddy called ”It’s all about the Benjamins.”
I re-listened to the song, and these lines stood out to me:
Now, what y’all wanna do? Wanna be ballers? Shot-callers? Brawlers?Puff Daddy
Yes, I do want to be a baller. But I wasn’t born a baller. Am I hopeless?
Knowledge Can Be Learned
No one is born with massive amounts of knowledge. It must be learned and understood. And understanding knowledge is how we educate ourselves to achieve our dreams.
The interesting thing about knowledge is that it doesn’t do anything by just knowing or understanding something. It has to be applied, or it becomes worthless.
Applying what we learn can be hard because it requires assessing our situation and figuring out how we should proceed. We like to have clear cut answers. “Just tell me what to do!” But life is rarely that simple. And achieving our goals is usually not dependent on one right decision.
By breaking down our problems into bite-size pieces, it can become clear what we should do to reach our goals. We may determine that not understanding something is preventing us from maximizing our potential, which gives us an opportunity to fill in those knowledge gaps.
Knowledge and experience help us determine our meaning and purpose.
There is No Replacement for Grit
The only thing we have total control over is what we spend our time pursuing. Creating a vision for what you want your future to look like is essential. But equally important is putting in the time to achieve your goals.
And what you want to achieve may not come easy. You could be one of many trying to do the same thing, and your competitors might be doing a better job. Or maybe you are pursuing something where your only competition is yourself. In either case, pushing as hard as possible increases your chances for success.
If you are having a hard time being motivated to push hard towards something, maybe that “something” is not what you want.
Our willingness, or lack thereof, to work harder than others for something can help us figure out what we sincerely want. If beyond the layers of marketing crap our culture throws at us, we can muster up a fury of fire to achieve something, that is usually a good sign.
The internet is full of articles like “If you do X you will achieve X.” Some of these articles share valuable knowledge that might be useful. But most of them are missing the core idea that effort and willpower play a more significant role than anything else.
It is impossible to measure how much time and effort something requires to take us where we want to go until we have achieved that goal. But here is a quick test to gauge how dedicated you are. What if your dream requires 1,000 hours of dedication to complete? What about 10,000 hours? Would it still be worth your time?
Figuring out where to focus our grit is crucial because time is a limited resource. Time is the most valuable thing we have. Thinking about whether the cost is worth it can help us figured out what we should do.
Failing Can Equal Success
Often the things we value the most have come from large amounts of effort. The difference between someone giving you $1,000,000, and earning that amount yourself is more powerful than we realize.
The process of figuring out how to earn the money we have is more valuable than the money itself.
Pursuing something with full effort tends to put us on the fast track in learning from our mistakes and making things better. Learning to optimize your failures can propel you to reach your dreams. You might end up surprising yourself in how far you can go, but you need to show up first!
Instead of feeling afraid to experience failure, we need to be more concerned about not putting in enough effort towards what we want to achieve, and pursuing what matters most to us.
Money Stir launched at a time when there are a massive number of financial blogs, and new blogs are starting every day. I don’t know if the site will end up generating enough traffic to bring in income, and I might fail in that regard. Or it might take many years before it takes off. But I want to share my story regardless because of the following:
- If it can help one person make smarter financial decisions, it is worth it.
- By sharing my story and thoughts, it helps me pursue my financial goals.
- I’m able to pour my energy into a positive side hustle.
- By putting my thoughts in writing, it is helping boost my confidence.
If we can learn most of our success is dependent on how hard we push towards our goals, this can open up our world in more ways than we imagine. You quickly realize that what you want is not going to be quick or easy, but it is possible to get there!
We discern that it matters much less about what we have or don’t have. The more important thing is figuring out what we want, and optimizing our effort to pursue those dreams.
I hope this encourages you to achieve what you want most out of life!
How have you seen effort work towards or against what you want to accomplish?
Chris is a financial blogger who loves to be transparent about money-related issues. He’s paid off massive amounts of credit card debt and is the blog author of Money Stir. His main focus on Money Stir is talking about how money relates to our relationships, personal development, and how to plan for the future we want. He’s been quoted on Market Watch, The Ladders, and other publications.