Effort – Yes. Struggle – No.

All great endeavours require effort? You better believe it.

Let’s stop confusing struggle with effort though.

Effort is energy optimised to reach the outcome. Struggle is wasted effort – not moving the outcome forward very efficiently.

How about the ‘principle of least effort’ which, is often confused for laziness – when it simply means ‘least effort’?

It’s not that effort isn’t required – but why make it harder than it has to be in order to justify the effort as more valid in some way?

I was recently moving a 1/2 a tonne of topsoil from one side of my garden to the other. I followed the route of least effort and used the already well trodden dirt path.I could have broken a new route to make it harder and struggled over the rocks with the wheelbarrow – just to feel some sense of having done it the tough way and padding my ego with that nonsense – I don’t think so!

Yet, I did expend considerable effort to shift the soil – even when following the path. So least does not necessarily mean not enough, poor or mediocre.

A good personal trainer would look to minimise effort in for results out. It just makes sense.

However in business, we sometimes think for anything to be worth something it has to be a big struggle.

Doing things the easy way is not lazy – it’s smart! If you are struggling with a project in your business, stop, work out what effort is required but how might you end the struggle.

Thanks to my friend Byron for this idea from a Facebook thread of his:


Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.

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