Effort vs Strategy

Your effort sets your floor. Your strategy sets your ceiling.

James Clear

I saw this quote from James Clear in his “3 ideas, 2 thoughts, 1 question” newsletter and absolutely loved it because it reminded me of the importance of zooming out before zooming in.

Having a strong work ethic and working hard is incredibly important to achieve any goal. However, effort in and of itself, won’t help you reach your ceiling.

The reason for this is you could be going in the wrong direction. Strategy helps you, to the best of your ability given the information you have at hand, calibrate your compass and maximize the odds that your effort is taking you in the right direction.

Another analogy I like for this is reading the map. Effort can make us feel like we are “moving fast” or “moving in the first place vs not moving at all” but sometimes moving fast actually… looks like you’re moving slow or not moving at all at the beginning and this comes from pausing to read the map (set your strategy).

So with high effort and a well-planned strategy, you end up with the best scenario: a high floor and a high ceiling and this is something we can all strive for.

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