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100% effort

I saw this the other day on someone else's post, and it planted the seed of an idea in my head (it was in a story by @entrepreneurscanparty - great guy with an ace podcast). It got me thinking about that phrase and others. 100% effort. Be more. Outstanding. Hustle.

All of these sayings or mottos, to me, aren't balanced. If I put in '100% effort' into something, I have taken that energy from elsewhere in my life to be able to concentrate it in that area. If I follow 'be more', then I am less somewhere else in my life.

These sayings also perpetuate the idea that we're not enough. Strive, because you're not yet good enough. Work harder because you're not yet outstanding. Be more because currently you are not very much. That doesn't honour the journey you're on, the lessons you've already learnt or the value in learning the future ones.

I think we need to recognise the appropriate context of these phrases; they operate well short term, and they can lead to successful changes and progress. Humans are not meant to put 100% into something. When they do, it tends to be for a short amount of time and then we have to take time to recover. Sustaining it long term often can have serious detrimental effects on our health. We see that put into action effectively with athletes who train through cycles (that include de-load or rest) or order to peak at a certain time. They don't, and can't, hit PBs every week.

I learnt a very important lesson on this from my teaching career. In my first year of teaching, my very experienced and hugely supportive mentor said to me 'I believe consistently good teaching leads to outstanding results'. You can't sustain outstanding lessons, with all the bells and whistles, but you can create systems that help you show up consistently. Following that system, you then do the best you can do on that day. Sometimes that means 1000%. Sometimes you coast, but you still showed up and did it.

Aim for balance, not 100%. It's not an excuse to be sloppy or to not want to improve, it's acknowledging that each day we show up differently. Some days you'll really want to strive and put in everything you've got, and other times you just won't. Why judge that? All it does is eat into your relaxation and sense of self-worth.

I didn't run for the first three weeks of lockdown - but I've run consistently for 10 years. I don't send out weekly blogs or emails consistently (when I tried to do that, I started writing about the health benefits of oats, really, you can go check it out), but I do write now when something ignites my passion and aligns with me.

So, in the life I want to create, is that lack of running, writing, and posting regularly an issue? Only if I start holding myself up to a standard of 100% effort.


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