The Exchange

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Graph depicting the application of effort creating results

One of the great tragedies in this life is that of seeing people believe they should not have to exchange effort for the outcome. The world itself has always been ruled by the law of cause and effect. We achieve the desired outcomes when we supply the right actions and efforts. The tragedy is in watching people think they should achieve greatness without participating in the right exchange of effort.

I think that is one of the reasons I have liked poems and quips about giving great effort to a worthwhile cause. I have always respected the idea that we can control our destiny in life when we are willing to control our efforts. I have always credited my grandfather for the lesson that I could win by outworking my competition. The reality is that my grandfather and my father demonstrated this lesson clearly in my life. I watched both of them give and give. I also watched both of them live a fulfilled life.

I believe most parents want their kids to have it better than they did. I believe most parents want their kids not to suffer or sacrifice as they did. But I also see that the sacrifice of effort is the very reason they became the successful people they are. It can be very difficult to watch our kids work at the level we had to work to make our way. At the same time, that exchange of effort became the very reason we were able to provide a good life for our families.

Step back from your life and look at the things you have exchanged great effort to attain. Look at the things you toiled away at to create. Aren’t those the things you have the most admiration for? What is it you want to achieve next? What effort are you willing to exchange for it?

You’ve got this!

Jody Holland



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Jody N Holland

Family, Focus, and Future… I love to write, speak, train, and coach on leadership and personal growth. Author of 23 books and keynote speaker 350+ times.