Effort. Effort is the key to momentum.
It’s the lever you can pull at any time to start yourself or something moving.
The outcome of praising effort is an experiment I’ve been running consciously on my children since they started school.
This is not the sort of praise that gives an award for any place apart from first. This is the type of praise that asks, “Was that the best you could do today?”. Or, “Are you happy with the effort you put into this today?”. “What could you have done to do better?”
And when the rewards come, as they did recently, I was able to say, “Wow! The effort you put in really paid off! Well done!”
I’ve been taking this approach because I’ve read a lot on the subject and it’s a tool that we have to establish traits like resilience. That’s the kind of trait that seems to be missing in a whole generation of apparently ‘woke’ kids who are triggered by almost everything.
I’m not going to digress much here but watching the Social Dilemma was eye-opening. I deleted Youtube off the Apple TV immediately after watching it. It changes my kids’ behaviour in less than 30 minutes of watching the videos they like to watch. Which aren’t bad by the way, and are even said to be good, but the arseholes they turn into are not welcome in my house.
How does this help you with your effort this week?
First off be like me and turn your phone on silent all day and only check it when you have a moment to do so. It’s a pain I’m sure for people around me but I’m working. I want to put in the effort and get that momentum going for whatever I’m doing. Notifications or even phone calls that want my attention weakens the effort you can put in.
Note there are times you need to your phone on. For example, my phone is on ring at night when my wife is away and might need to call in an emergency.
The sustained effort called for to get a project going has to be concentrated on that project. Think of sunlight through a magnifying glass. Diffused it does nothing. Concentrated it might start a fire.
Any distraction lessens your effort and the project will either never get off the ground or take a lot longer than you have the energy for. At that stage you’ll make some weak excuse for your failure, not taking into account the phone use and habits that you’ve let undermine you.
The effort you’re putting might not be recognised and you need to do that yourself. Saying, “Good job me!”, might sound corny out loud. But, there is research that says it gives you a dopamine hit that has positive effects on your brain.
Say it more often when you’re putting in the effort. It’s like dogs. To get the behaviour you want you reward their good behaviour which then leads to them being well trained or well behaved.
You are no different from the dog. You need to reward the effort you are putting in and the habits you are creating to strengthen them and make them part of your everyday life.
The rewards will come and you will be able to stay, “I deserve this. I put in the effort. Good job me!”.
Have a great week.
Quote for the week
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
– Conrad Hilton