Effort

Niagara Falls on the borders of New York, in the United States and the province of Ontario in Canada, is one of the largest and most impressive waterfalls in the world. The sheer volume of water passing over the falls and the power generated from it is enormous. For example, every minute some 12 million cubic feet (340,000 cubic meters) of water pour over the falls. That’s enough to fill about 700 Olympic sized swimming pools or the equivalent to 379,000 tons of water every minute of every hour of every day. Such a vast amount of water generates enough power to accommodate, altogether, 6 hydroelectric plants, which produce some 3½ million kilowatts of electricity. Now, without question, that’s a great deal of power, but here’s my point: For all its beauty and impressiveness, Niagara Falls, in fact every waterfall, started out in life as a single drop of water! Think about it. A single drop of water mingles with another and another to form a small puddle or pool. The pool then converges with other pools and begins to trickle downhill as a tiny stream. Other streams then come together and form a river. Finally, as the river continues downhill towards the sea it combines with others and the end result is a massive expanse of water such as the Niagara River and falls. All this from single drops of water and relentless persistence. Likewise with you: No matter where you start from or however little you start with, providing you put in the effort and are heading in the right direction with relentless persistence, you too, over time, can and will achieve amazing and impressive results.

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt from Discover Your True Potential

There is a story told of two friends, a chicken and a pig, out to try and make a difference in life. As they walked down the street they pass a café and in the window was a large sign that read, “HAM & EGGS £2.99”. The chicken turned to the pig and said, “Let’s go inside and make a contribution?” But the pig shook his head and replied, “It’s easy enough for you to make a contribution but not for me. I’d have to make a commitment.” – It’s the same when making an effort: Sometimes effort means more than just making a contribution; it means making a COMMITMENT.

“Without involvement there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment.”

Stephen Covey

It was 1972 in Munich. A relatively unknown swimmer was poised at the edge of the pool awaiting the firing of the starting gun. It was his first time in the Olympics and he had made it to the finals. The gun sounded and he dived into the pool and swam with all his strength. Moments later he had won the gold medal and set a new world record at the same time. The next day he swam again, and again won another gold medal and, amazingly, he again won it in world record time. He swam seven races in Munich, won seven gold medals and, incredibly, established seven new world records. It was one of the greatest feats in Olympic history. The entire world suddenly knew the name of Mark Spitz.

But behind the glory was a dedication to training that had seen Mark swimming and lifting weights hour after hour, day after day, year after year, in preparation for the 1972 Olympics. His winning was not luck or chance but the end result of all the work he had put into his sport. He had the heart of a champion, and the dedication of one who knows what he wants and what he has to do to achieve it. Mark Spitz has said: “We all live to win, but how many people love to train?”

Source: John Kehoe, Mind Power, 1997, Canada, British Columbia: Zoetic Inc. Publishers, p.143-144

I once heard about a young boy in Africa who gave a gift of a beautiful seashell to his missionary English teacher. The thing is, the only place to find the beautiful specimen was a full day and half’s trek to a secluded cove by the sea. The teacher was overwhelmed with the gift and said, “You shouldn’t have gone all that way just to give me a gift. The boy answered, “The long walk is also part of the gift!”

If 99.9% effort is good enough then we would have…

One hour of unsafe drinking water every six weeks.

Two unsafe plane landings at Chicago’s O’Hare airport every day.

18,000 pieces of lost mail every hour.

22,000 payments deducted from the wrong bank account every week

500 incorrect surgical operations every week.

12 new-born babies given to the wrong parents every day.

20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions written each year.

880,000 credit cards in circulation with the wrong cardholder information on them.

Whatever it is you do, put your heart and soul into it and give it 100% effort.

Anon.

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights the room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make a difference,
And that difference is up to you!

Anon

The following is an adaptation of Loren Eiseley’s ‘The Starfish Thrower’: One day a man was taking a stroll along a beach. As he’s walking along the man notices someone in the distance, keep bending down to pick something up and then, almost delicately, throwing it into the ocean. As he came closer the man saw thousands of starfish washed up by the high tide and now left stranded and dying on the beach. He observed a young man picking up the starfish and one by one tossing them gently back into the water. After watching this seemingly futile effort, the observer said, “Young man, I’m afraid you’re wasting your time. There are literally thousands of starfish washed up on this beach and for that matter, probably on every beach along this coastline. It would be impossible for you to save them all or even to make the slightest difference.” The young man smiled, but there was a determined look in his eye, as he bent down to pick up another starfish. Tossing it gently back into the ocean he turned to the older man and replied, “Well sir, it certainly made a difference to that one!”

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt adapted from Maximize Your Potential

“Go out on a limb because that’s where the fruit is.”

Will Rogers (1879-1935), American humourist and actor

MADE-IT = Make A Determined Effort – Invest Time

R. Ian Seymour

“People and rubber bands have one thing in common: they both must be stretched to be effective.”

John Maxwell

The way to ‘TRIUMPH’ is found in the first syllable of the word.

To triumph is to TRY with UMPH!

“One of the greatest reasons people cannot mobilize themselves is that they try to accomplish great things. Most worthwhile achievements are the result of many little things done in a single direction.”

Nido Quebin, speaker and writer

Little drops of water and tiny grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.

J. A. Fletcher

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees centigrade. – At 211 degrees Fahrenheit; 99 degrees centigrade it’s just hot water but increase by one more degree, and the water boils and produces steam which has enough power to move a 30 tonne steam engine.

If things are easy going, beware! You might be heading downhill.

Greg Taunt, writer

I heard this tale about an arrogant businessman man but it makes a good point:

A middle-aged, wealthy and successful company executive was carefully reversing his top-of-the-range Mercedes into a narrow parking space when, as if from out of nowhere, a young man in a clapped-out old Mini quickly nipped into the gap, beating the Mercedes by a whisker. Locking his car, the youth looked across at the man in the Mercedes and with a sarcastic grin shouted, “Sorry Granddad. The world belongs to the young and quick!” Without a word the businessman continued reversing, pushing the Mini sideways onto the pavement. He then got out, locked the Mercedes with a blip of his key-fob, turned towards the dumbfounded youth and handed him a business card. “No doubt your insurance company will be wanting to contact me,” he remarked calmly. “Oh, and you’re wrong, by the way. The world belongs to those who are willing to go the extra yard!”

R. Ian Seymour

R. Ian Seymour, excerpt adapted from Maximize Your Potential

‘It Couldn’t Be Done’

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied,
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face, if he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh you’ll never do that;
At least no one has ever done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that await to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Edgar A. Guest

“It’s no good trying to shine if you don’t take the trouble to fill your lamp.”

Robert Browning

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Winston Churchill

“How will you ever know what you can accomplish if you never try? ‘Try or cry,’ that’s my slogan. Either try or stop crying about it. Confidence will come in the doing.”

Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corporation