June 15 – Effort and results

“The difference between success and failure is often about 5% more effort.” (S. Truett Cathy)

Do you ever wonder where these statistics come from? Where did this person dig up this stat? Or was it just something made up? Who really knows?

Whether the extra effort to succeed is 5%, 15%, or 50% I really don’t know. And I don’t know if effort is “usually”, the difference maker. Whatever the real statistics might be, it is true that there are times when the difference between success and failure is just a matter of a little bit more effort.

When I was a child, the adage “If at first you don’t success, try, try again,” was repeated to me often. Whether by my mother, a Scout leader or a teacher, there was always someone reminding me not to give up. Somewhere along the line that sentence seems to have been replaced with “failure is not an option,” and I am not sure that’s a good trade.

The fact is that when trying something new, or trying something that stretches my capabilities, failure will occur. It is natural and normal. Sometimes failing at something a few times will let me know that what I am trying isn’t really something I am cut out to do. Other times the failure provides me with valuable lessons and an opportunity to try again.

I do think that those who succeed at great tasks are the ones who are able to put in the most effort. In my own life, my success level on projects has always been driven by how hard I have tried. And, when that effort was lacking the poor results bore it out.

As this new week dawns, I am reflecting on which of my current projects could use a boost of additional effort to speed along, or increase their chances of success. Whether the amount needed is 5% or not will remain to be seen, but I will be looking for those opportunities to kick it up.

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