How do you measure yours..?
I gave it my 100%
It amazes me to have people say this all the time. I always wonder—how can we measure effort, be it 50% or 100%? Aren’t we evolving as individuals and isn’t our capability to do something being enhanced with time? The extent of our capability is just a state of mind—it’s a thought, a perception of ourselves, what we are doing and what we can do.
Let us completely ignore the idea of “percentage of effort”. Let us, instead, focus on getting something done or in more specific words “giving what it takes to get it done”. In retrospect, you can measure by your own means whether the effort you put in was your 10% or 200%. It is just a mere statistic that you can use to further develop and enhance your skills. But it is just that, a statistic—nothing more, nothing less. It cannot be the factor that decides beforehand whether the task can be accomplished by you or not.
Let me illustrate this with an example
A friend of mine did not know how to swim, so crossing 20ft of water that was 7ft deep was way beyond his 100% (He is less than 6ft in height, just in case you were wondering). At some point in time, he realized he will need to accomplish the above task. There were two options: one, claim that he cannot swim and get out of the situation and two, learn how to swim. It took him exactly five days—one hour a day—along with a good coach, and the job was done. It was a list of some very simple tasks that helped him achieve this goal. None of them, as individual steps, seemed to take a lot out of him. After about three months of practice, he now swims the length of an entire Olympic-length pool in at least two different strokes without breaking a sweat. Observe here how his benchmark has risen with concentrated effort. What was possibly 500% beyond his capacity now seems like something he achieves with 10% effort, again the measure being a figure of imagination that we have all learnt to calculate without being taught by anyone at all!
It’s another thing, however, when we say: I don’t care about it enough to be putting in all that much effort. Then it becomes a matter of choice and the level of priority you attach to it. We here are considering the things we want to do in life and are working towards accomplishing them.
There is a good old saying that goes “If there’s will, there’s a way”. It does not speak of dimensions of the road or a map or whatever else. Does it? It does not say whether the task will be easy or difficult. Even “easy” or “difficult” is only the ability or lack of it to do something at a given point in time. At the age of one, you found it difficult to walk. You don’t at 25! Why 25, even at two u did not find it difficult anymore.
The bottom line is your 100% is simply where you put an end to the limits of your ability to do something. That’s where you build a wall and say that doing anything beyond this is out of my reach. We don’t need that kind of a wall, do we? How does it matter if in your head it took 10% effort or 100% to do something? The point is the job got done. You got it done. If a certain task is not doable today, it is simply because you know too little about it or haven’t learnt to do it yet, or in some cases, do not have the resources to do it. It’s only a matter of time before that can be taken care of. In his book “Talent is Never Enough”, John C. Maxwell has listed some excellent steps to help you get to where you want to be and achieve things that extend beyond your talent.
In the end, like they say, “A man’s got to do, what a man’s got to do”! So do your bit by doing all that it takes. Let the numbers remain in the background and let action take centre stage. When the action looks good, the numbers will surely not hold back in shining bright.