Results or efforts. What to praise?

Results or efforts – what to praise?

What should we praise more – results or efforts ?Click To Tweet

I guess most of us like to win if we get into competition. And how we win (the ‘quality’ of our efforts) plays a big part in our satisfaction.

But if our ultimate goal is to improve our happiness we really don’t have to keep winning big competitions.

We can simply focus on ‘improving’ our situation – bit by bit.

Happiness is, in part, about our position relative to those around us.

We’ll explore that in ‘a bit’ more depth another time 😉

That said, when we want to improve our situation a lot, it’s likely that we’ll need to put in a lot of effort. Those efforts may need to be sustained over a long period of time. And it’ll help to get coached to ensure those efforts are well directed.

Getting praise along the way, makes that journey to our goals infinitely more enjoyable.

But how often do we offer that praise?

. . . to our work colleagues, our loved ones or to ourselves?

High achievers (in any discipline from gymnastics to piano playing) will tell us that their achievements are largely the result of a lot of (well directed) effort.

And having people around them who recognise and praise those efforts.

Some will even say that their results are almost inevitable given the efforts they’ve made.

So there’s no secret to what makes winners

And this lovely old story reminds us about what really matters.

Bill Shankly was the manager of Liverpool football club in the 1970s.

And he transformed them from an average second division team to one of the greatest football teams of all time.

That was the team I supported as a young lad BTW, which kinda gives my age away eh?

Anyway, an enthusiastic young journalist once asked Shankly for his secret.

How did he get those players so focused on winning the game?

And Shankly replied, “well, you know, I never ever tell my players to focus on that!”

“I simply tell them to focus on one thing – and that’s to  . . .

make each pass of the ball – the best that they possibly can.

And when they all do that . . . we quite often win

What a wonderful guide to life that is.

If we can just make the effort to make each part of our day (whatever we’re working on – and whoever it’s with) as good as it can be . . .

then we’re assured of getting better results.

Speaking of this sort of focus reminds me of the concept of ‘mindfulness’ and we must come back to that another day.

For now, just put your best efforts into everything you do.

And if you need some direction, ask for it early . . .

from someone who knows what they’re talking about!

The results will take care of themselves.

All the best for now


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