There are numerous qualities that we, as people, should all strive to engrain in our very being. A few of these qualities are honesty, integrity, kindness, tolerance, and compassion. However, there is one quality that I hold higher than the rest – the value of effort. You’re likely wondering, “why is effort so important?” Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Without effort, no other value would matter.
We all need to value effort
As humans, we all exhibit different traits and perceive the value of effort in different ways. Some of us excel in athletics, while others thrive in the classroom. Some of us are introverted, while others are extroverted. The simple fact is that we all survive and thrive through a combination of skills and attributes. The wolf with the sharpest teeth would ultimately die if they were a slow runner. This creates conflict. Some find it difficult to review for tests or to sit still for extended periods of time. Others fail to recognize the value of effort when they fail to break a bad habit or exercise daily to better their health. Some couldn’t care less about the well being of others. On the contrary, some worry so much about others that they forget to care for themselves.
It’s 100% okay to have personal flaws – after all, that’s what being human means. However, if we don’t honor the value of effort and put forth an effort to better ourselves in such areas, we end up becoming one of those people. The introvert who makes no effort to form friendships becomes the outcast. The extrovert who is dependent on friendships becomes the compulsive, needy individual. Those who think little of others becomes the heartless jerk and said jerk exploits those who only thinks of others. It’s an ongoing battle to work on our weaknesses and it’s one that we will never fully overcome. However, we must exert effort if we want to reach our fullest potential.
We all need to recognize the value of effort in others
We also need to recognize the effort that others put into their lives. Especially if it’s in a seemingly trivial area. We often forget that, as humans, we all excel and fall short in different areas. As a result, we judge people based on the amount of effort that we would have put into their troubles. “Why don’t they do things the way I do things?” “How hard can it be to do this? I do it all the time!” “They’re so [insert adjective]. How could they be like that?”
We assume that the people who aren’t as good as us at a certain activity are just lazy or thoughtless, rather than trying to help them. By ‘help’, I don’t mean to go and give them a lecture, but rather lead by example, be there for them, and put forth effort in your own life so that others can be inspired to put forth such effort into theirs.
Our effort extends beyond our weaknesses
The value of effort is self-evident when it comes to self-improvement. However, it applies to more than just our weaknesses. Do you think any great person who we look back on in textbooks was just born with innate abilities? No. They gave everything they had into what they did and fought to be even better. Furthermore, they didn’t settle for average. Instead, they told themselves, “I’m good, but I’ll strive to become great.” Teachers taught themselves, writers read, scientists study, and warriors train. These people work to become more than what they were previously.
Take Mother Teresa for instance. She was one of the most giving and caring people to have ever lived. However, she struggled with her faith throughout the majority of her life. Regardless, she continued to work to help others in need. This example leads one to wonder, was she so good at it that it was the easiest path for her to take in life? On a similar note, did Dr. Martin Luther King challenge the racist mindset against African Americans simply because he was charismatic? No. Both struggled against external and internal forces so that they could make a difference and it was this kind of effort that allowed them to do so.
Closing thoughts on the value of effort
The real down to Earth reality about effort is that it applies to everything in life. Are you trapped in an unhealthy relationship? Well, you have three options. First, you can opt for the easy route of complacency and accept a miserable existence. Second, you can put forth the effort needed to fix what’s broken. Third, you can muster the courage to move on. Do you feel lonely because no one seems to understand you? Well, you need to work at making friends who will accept you for who you are. Otherwise, you’ll be alone forever. Are you feeling that your life lacks meaning? You guessed it, you have to strive to give meaning to your life.
You need to discover yourself and then use that discovery to identify your purpose. It is essential that you recognize and care about the adversity that your peers face. In doing so, you’ll work towards becoming the person that you want to be. Nobody ever said it would be easy. You have to work at being kind, smart, strong, honest, loving, tolerant, honorable, and every other quality that people strive to possess.
Without effort, you might end up becoming someone you can live with. However, with effort, you will become someone whom you can be proud of.