An excerpt from Chapter IX – “True Effort” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…
“At its most basic level, the notion of ‘true effort’ supports this important ideal: If one wishes to realize genuine success in striving for an important objective, then this effort necessitates ‘doing it until it works’ – working at it…working at it…working at it…until nothing short of success is enjoyed – ‘never giving up’ – No Matter What. Through his character D. Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda set forth a similar notion – “Trying is achieving” – or achieving is nothing short of “impeccable” indefeasible effort.
Too often we say we want to do something or accomplish something – until we discover how difficult it is. We realize that the journey toward the goal or objective is not enough fun – is too complicated – too nasty – too trying. We so often refuse to enjoy the miracle of the journey toward the goal – we focus our eye only on the reward – being unwilling to appreciate and objectively witness the ‘big picture.’ We are all capable of looking at this same issue through a more healthful lens: What a wonderful gift we can allow ourselves if we work toward a goal while displaying true appreciation of the miracle of the moment… each moment of the journey. This is impossible all of the time – albeit recognition of the significance of this practice is a key aspect of a true effort which cannot be separated from a healthful means of trying and achieving.
In these contemporary times, we know that at almost any time we wish, it is a simple matter to just ‘be entertained,’ e.g.: television, computers, cell phones, video games…the list goes on…and on. Such activities require little of us – very little or no effort. What a godsend! Or is it? Food is clearly an important form of entertainment – particularly with such a plethora of it for the average person – and most particularly types of food which are so unhealthful – yet SO GOOD to the taste (and…entertaining). Exercise…’oh boy!’ It appears that for a large majority of us, exercise, e.g., moving the body in a fashion congruent with the way it was meant to…is clearly NOT a form of entertainment. For most of us, being healthy is clearly ‘no fun’: Eating healthfully and exercising (or just moving our bodies) requires, at least initially, serious amounts of effort.
In order to explore the multi-layered notion of true effort in a deeper fashion, we must be willing to look at a common trait which we often seem to blindly display when we exert effort in various circumstances: It is our craving for some sort of reward and/or recognition for said effort, and the positive outcomes thereof. The true health outlook herein is that we should move beyond this base desire or need: It sets forth that healthful change is always more deeply rooted and beneficial as we learn to avoid desire for reward and/or recognition for our effort. The more we embrace effort, versus reward and/or recognition for our effort and accomplishments, the ‘sweeter’ and more enlightening the benefit of our effort will be.
We all have the ability to succeed in this or that by way of our own effort – effort made possible by attributes both inherited and learned. We can choose to seek recognition for our learned/developed attributes – our ability to get things done – our self-efficacy: Much of our self-efficacy is due to our effort toward developing resourcefulness. Is it in any way healthful to desire recognition or reward for our resourcefulness, for reaching goals, accomplishing good things? To this issue it is significant that we ask ourselves this: “Why is it so important that we enjoy such recognition, that we take credit as such?” Or, one could say: “What is the ‘big deal’ as to whether or not we do so?” To this point, Albert Einstein said, “One hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer self depend on the labor of others, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received.” It seems clear that he enjoyed a deep abiding respect for the spirit of unselfish right thinking – reflected in a healthful willingness to reject craving of recognition.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)
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