As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, there is the occasional need to remind and reinforce the truth that there are no quick and easy solutions to address the major challenges in life or to accomplish our major goals in life. As the saying goes, “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.”
Despite the reality that there are no easy fixes, we continue to be baited and many times hooked to the idea of “3 simple steps” to awesome relationships, the “10 minute workout” that will keep us healthy and fit, or by simply answering the “one big question” we will energize our team to win in the marketplace.
When I hear those “simple and easy” pitches, I am reminded of the quote by Michelangelo, “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery; it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”
There are a number of techniques that can help us increase our personal effectiveness, achieve some goal, or support our team to reach a key milestone. These techniques may change with the times and the technology, but there are two principles that will help to determine our level of effectiveness over the long haul.
The first principle is Education: Formal education in high school, college or graduate school will certainly play a part. However, for most adults, continual, ongoing education throughout life is the critical factor. When we remain open to learn from others, from our experiences, from mentors and friends, take a new class, read a book, or watch an educational video on the internet, we continue to grow. When we make a choice to remain closed to continually educating ourselves, we fail to grow. Failing to grow is a problem no “quick fix” will overcome.
The second principle is Effort: There is no substitute for the energy required to work hard and persevere. The significant achievements in life don’t come about from quick wit, smooth talking, or the one brilliant solution, they come about from good old fashion effort over time, just like we learned as kids. Building and maintaining healthy relationships, especially those in the home, takes an enormous amount of intentional effort. The “happily ever after” stories we read as kids fell short on that reality. However, our life experience reinforces the reality that intentional effort over time is the foundation for healthy relationships.
In addition to being a good reminder for all us, I especially wanted to highlight these principles for two specific groups of people:
- For those who are currently in a tough struggle to reach a goal and anxiousness, worry, and doubt are draining precious energy. My hope is that this will be an encouraging reminder of the truth that education and effort are the foundation of achievement. Reaching a goal is not about being the smartest, having the best connections, or just plain luck. Education and effort will play to our favor in the long haul, so keep moving forward on those two fronts no matter how tough the present struggle.
- For those who still maybe holding out hope that there is that secret, quick-fix formula out there to reach our hopes and dreams. My hope is that this blog could be a sobering reminder to you and those you influence that the secret, quick-fix to the important things in life is not a reality. Education and effort will always play a part in the foundation for achievement.
As we continue to increase our effort and our ongoing education, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to improve relationships, overcome challenges, and reach our goals.