To Achieve Something Outrageously Extraordinary Requires Extreme Effort

UPDATED: June 26, 2023
PUBLISHED: December 28, 2016

We aren’t doing enough. Sometimes not even the bare minimum.

But it’s worse than that. This lack of effort is poor, lazy behavior. In every sense of the words.

I’m not even sure how we got to this point, but here is what I do know:

  • We talk ourselves out of action before we even get started.
  • We spend time, mental energy and emotion trying to look good rather than getting results.
  • We debate the plan rather than working on it.
  • We make excuses for our mediocrity.

If we want to be successful, it takes doing more. A lot more. To achieve something outrageously extraordinary requires extreme effort.

Related: Stop Making Excuses for Who and Where You Are

Effort is the great equalizer.

Seth Godin says ever so brilliantly the following about effort: “People really want to believe effort is a myth…. I think we’ve been tricked by the veneer of lucky people on the top of the heap. We see the folks who manage to skate by, or who get so much more than we think they deserve, and it’s easy to forget that these guys are the exceptions…. For everyone else, effort is directly related to success…. And that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.

It’s inescapable. Effort makes the difference.

Effort is more than “If you pay me more, I’ll work harder.” It’s about not cheating yourself out of your own potential.

Think about that for a minute. Does anyone else really care if you are only putting in a half-ass effort?

No! You know deep down you are cheating yourself. And you are the only one who is really hurt by your actions.

No one cares about you like you. The least you can do for yourself is to put in the effort to give your dreams the chance to come true.

Think about what you want out of life right now. Perhaps you want:

  • More self-assurance about your financial future;
  • A better relationship with your spouse and children;
  • A happier and/or more fulfilling lifestyle.

Are you willing to put in the effort to make these a reality? Not brains or money or manipulation. EFFORT!

If all that seems too overwhelming, if your dreams and goals seem too far off, let me offer the simplest of insights: Effort is simply you taking the next step. Again and again and again.

When you look closely at how ordinary people achieve amazing things, you begin to see it for what it is: one foot in front of the other. That’s all. A step is infinitely easier than a journey.

It’s your decision to be amazing. It’s a commitment to take the next step. It’s an attitude. It’s how you live your life. Relentlessly moving forward.

The world is full of good people doing good things in good ways. What will change the world is you putting in enough effort to do great things. One step at a time.

Be edgy. Put in extreme effort:

Related: 126 Ways to Be Extraordinary

1. Avoid the need to blame others for anything.

Mean, small-minded people know they suck. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out others’ mistakes. They hope that by causing others to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off the mark their own performance is. Don’t blame anyone, for any reason, ever. It’s a bad habit.

2. Stop working on the things that just don’t matter.

Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can, however, cut out TV time, meetings and anything else that gets in the way of achieving your goals. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.

3. Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed.

Stop comparing your current problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you to capture your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Stop whining. Go conquer.

4. Ask yourself, What can I do better next time? And then do it next time.

If you spend a decade or two earnestly trying to be better, that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.

5. Proactively take time to do things that fuel your passion (for example, exercise).

Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. So go fight someone. Or go running if fighting seems a bit extreme. Physical activity accelerates mental motivation.

6. Apologize to yourself and those around you for having a bad attitude.

Do this once or twice, and you’ll snap out of your funk pretty fast. When you start genuinely apologizing for being a bad influence on those around you, you learn to stop whining and start winning.

Related: How To: Change Yourself in Positive Ways 


Excerpted with permission from EDGY Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success by Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt’s spent his life attempting (and often achieving) the outrageous. He refuses to accept business as usual—making him an unconventional, yet highly effective, consultant to some of the world’s largest companies.

Having devoted years to studying thousands of the world’s most unlikely high performers, he’ll share stories of ordinary humans achieving outrageous success that will enliven you to launch an extraordinary life.