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We constantly hear that if you want to succeed, you must always give 100% of your effort.  I disagree with this. There are many times when 100% effort can be negative.  For example, bike racing (leave it to a guy in a wheelchair who can’t even stand on his own to talk expertly about bike racing just hear me out. If a person is in a race, he or she actually hurts their chances by pushing themselves to the limit all of the time. Let’s just say half the race is uphill and half the race is downhill. If the cyclists give 100% of their effort throughout the entire race, then they might burn themselves out.  An expert cyclist knows how to pace himself by putting more effort into the uphill portion and coasting through the downhill.  (Disclaimer: Everything I stated about bike riding is only based on assumptions and observations.)

In business, as in with life, we should not always give 100%.  There are times when we should just coast through life and save our energy for those times where 100% effort is absolutely needed. For example, if you have a long day ahead of you, you probably will not workout extensively in the morning and exhaust yourself.

Sometimes you are winning big or you are losing big. Let’s take a hockey game.  (My manager Kristi is into hockey and she’s typing this post so let’s make her happy.)  If a team is up by five goals or down by five goals with five minutes to go in the game, the smart thing to do is just stop trying so hard, accept the outcome, and focus on the next game.  In this situation, it’s not worth risking an injury or greater frustrations.

I like to believe that life does not come to us, we have to go out there and get it. With that said, I admit that there are times when we do have to let go and let it come to us.  A big part of my company is sales. I have to sell my speaking services as well as ancillary products.  I cannot hound my clients all the time.  I just have to put out the effort and let the chips fall where they fall.  It’s like when a guy is going out with a girl, he can’t just call her and call her and call he umm...that’s called stalking.  Instead, make sure that she had a good time and just leave it at that.

Warning, warning, warning: This is not an excuse to slack off.   (If you are 35, still live with your parents and stumbled across my blog in between your sessions of World of Warcraft, don’t  forward this to your mom!)

I believe in hard work.  What you should do is analyze the situation and see what you need to do to accomplish your feats and allocate your time, resources, and energy accordingly.


Timelapse - Lighthouse (Oct 2012) from IMK Digital Multimedia on Vimeo.

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