Thomas Edison. Does the name light a bulb? It should. He is credited with the invention of the electric light bulb among other numerous scientific inventions. He rose from being a poor, uneducated railroad worker to become one of the most celebrated men in history. His background not withstanding, he dreamed big and he succeeded through effort. It takes a determined attempt to be successful in anything worthwhile. Edison did not manage to be successful overnight: it took him several attempts for the light bulb to finally work.
How many of us give up at the slightest indication of failure? How many times have we set aside our dreams because they seem unattainable? Napoleon Hill rightly said that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. We all want success this year. We want to build a home for our families, buy a car, complete our studies, and the list is endless. Whatever your plans are, you need effort to achieve them.
The celebrated men and women of our times are where they are through determination. They relentlessly followed their dreams through thick and thin. Sometimes, success is simply a matter of making one small adjustment. And this requires a little push and a little effort. Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Make an effort of doing things differently this year.
Doing something new or unexpected may be scary at first, but is often exciting and satisfying too. You will be surprised to find skills and resources you never knew you had. Making an effort calls for getting out of one’s comfort zone. It is refusing to quit. It is the act of attempting to do something towards a definite end. It is the intention of accomplishing a task by taking a series of actions. Effort can thus be summarised as action.
Every effort counts. For example, if one of your goals this year is to be physically fit but you only have time for a short jog, go for it. At least you are doing something, no matter how minute it feels. Every jog is a building block for the future. So, the next time you think, “What’s the point?” just remember that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Want to start a business and your capital is too little? Start small and make effort to grow. Remember the words in Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see work begin…”
Let effort be manifested in all aspects of your life. Start from where you are and have a clear trajectory of where you are headed. Then make an effort to reach there.
All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.
Chuck Palahniuk (1962), American novelist and freelance journalist
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
Hellen Keller (1880 to 1968), American author, political activist and lecturer
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain and difficulty. I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), American politician, author and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, linguist and lexicographer
Walls don’t fall without effort.
Neal Shusterman (1962), Popular and successful American writer of young-adult fiction.
It is important not to settle for less in life especially when you know you deserve more. Always set a higher standard for yourself but also know that achieving that will require effort on your part. You can’t just wait for things to happen, you ought to work towards them happening.
Wanjiru Nyoro, Research assistant