You Can Control Your Effort Even If You Can’t Control The Outcome

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt

This world is full of those who would sit back and criticize others, make snarky comments about others, tear others down or belittle their efforts. It is so easy to be one of those people because talking trash about someone takes very little effort. Finding fault with someone takes very little effort. What takes effort is to be that person who is out there fighting the fight, giving it their all, attempting to do something with their lives – that takes effort, and lots of it. It also takes courage to be the person to put yourself out there when there is always that chance that you could actually fall on your face, especially when you are surrounded by so many of those people in the world who are just watching and waiting for you to go and try and fall just to give them the opportunity to make fun or belittle your attempt. But stop for just a moment and ask yourself this question – if I was watching the person make the attempt and the person in the grandstands criticizing them…which of those two people would I feel the most proud of? Which of those two people is the person I would most like to emulate?

For me, that is a very easy question to answer – I always want to be that person who is out there making the effort.  I don’t care if that person is the one who tries and possibly fails, I just want to be the person who is always willing to try. That’s the person I most want to be!

There is something so noble about the person who is willing to try. And it’s their efforts that make them truly amazing in my eyes. Maybe that’s because I know what it feels like to try and fail at things and I know how much inner strength it takes to get back up and brush yourself off and start again. I know how much you grow in that process and I know how much wisdom you gain going through those trials and failures and the will it takes to get up and start again. That’s why I have a true appreciation for those individuals who choose to put themselves out there and TRY!

If I could give a gift to people it would be to help them focus on that – I would help them focus on their efforts and have them not worry about the outcomes.

So many problems with people’s self-esteem or self-worth today come because of this messed up belief that it’s a person’s outcomes that defines them. That just isn’t true. 99% of the time you have no control on the outcome of a situation as there are a million other factors that come into play when determining an actual outcome. But 100% of the time you have ABSOLUTE CONTROL on your own EFFORTS in life. No one else can influence your efforts unless you choose to let them. You control your effort completely, and don’t ever forget that.

Don’t worry about what “other people” might think or say or even what other people will choose to believe about you. None of those “other people” are your judge in life anyway – that is totally between you and God and I am quite certain that He won’t give a lick of attention to what the “other people” thought. He knows exactly what efforts you make and that is all that matters.

Go for the goals that you want to achieve most in your life. Make the efforts to get them. And then don’ t worry about the outcome of those goals – just focus on doing your part of the effort 100% and then trust that the outcome will be EXACTLY as it is meant to be.

Nothing feels better than going to bed at the end of each day being able to say that “today I gave my best effort, and tomorrow I will do the same”.

Be that person who is down in the stadium trying and never, ever allow yourself to be that bystander up in the bleachers criticizing those who try….

~Amy Rees Anderson


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