Results or efforts, what to praise?

aka Frankl and Shankly's secret to success

Frankl. Don't aim at success

Results or efforts, what is the best thing to praise?

Winning is nice but…

Sure, it’s great to win when we’re in a competition, and how we win – the ‘quality’ of our efforts – will play a big part in our satisfaction.

Indeed, if our ultimate goal is to improve our happiness, we don’t have to keep winning in competitions, we can simply focus on improving our situation, bit by bit.

This is because our happiness is derived, in part, by our position relative to those around us and, in part by our situation relative to our recent past.

So, as long as we make some progress, it should put a smile on our face 😉 and we do well to remember not to see every step backwards as a disaster.

Instead, it helps to consider what we can learn from our mistakes.

Maxwell. Win or Learn

Of course, in some ways, it’s easy to avoid failure. We simply need to avoid trying to achieve anything! 😉 …

That said, we need to respect our natural fears of failure… they’re there to protect us and shouldn’t be denied, as some fire walking gurus might tell you!

So, setting aside luck, to improve our situation we need to put in lots of effort – and sustain it over time.

Getting some help from a competent coach can be a good idea – to ensure those efforts are well directed, not wasted.

As someone once said,

Practice doesn’t make perfect

it just makes our errors habitual.

Having some praise from our coach on the journey to our goals is also infinitely more enjoyable.

Learn what makes a great coach here

Remember to praise the efforts

Whether we’re dealing with work colleagues, our loved ones or ourselves, it pays big dividends to praise good efforts; sadly, we don’t do it enough.

But just ask any high achiever, and they’ll tell you about the extraordinary efforts they made… and how getting some direction, recognition and praise from their coach kept them going.

Some, like Frankl and Shankly, might even say winning is (almost) inevitable after great efforts.

Bill Shankly’s secret to winning:

This lovely old story reminds us of what really matters on the road to winning.

Bill Shankly was the Manager of Liverpool Football Club in the 1970s.

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 focussed on winning the game?

Shankly’s reply?:

“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 … we’re assured of getting great results.

Which reminds me of the concept of ‘mindfulness’… and that’s definitely, something we’ll come back to another day.

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

Work on what you can change – and take things one step at a time.

Niebuhr. Serenity, Courage and Wisdom

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.

Thanks for dropping in


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