Friday, May 20, 2011


“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”

-Napoleon Hill

John Maxwell shares a great story about legendary basketball coach John Wooden. Wooden shared that during basketball practice sometimes the kids would loaf or not give 100%. Maybe they just had exams, maybe they were mentally tired, maybe they were a little discouraged, or maybe they just broke up with their girlfriend.

Wooden said he would watch his players and if they weren’t giving 100% he would go over to them, put his arm around them and say something along these lines:

“I know you’re not giving me 100% today and I know you’re probably tired or you’ve had exams or something, but you’re just not giving 100%. I want you to understand something about your effort. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that tomorrow you’ll come back and give a little extra. You’ll give 120% or you’ll make up for what you didn’t do today.”

Then he’d look them in the eye and say, “I just want you to understand that you can never give more than 100%. So, if you only give 60% today, you don’t give 140% tomorrow and make up. If you give 60% today, you leave 40% on the table and you NEVER get it back.”

This powerful story illustrates the importance of giving maximum effort today. Life is not about living 70, 80, or 90 years and hoping we lived a good life. Life is about living fully today, maximizing today and making today victorious (however YOU define “victorious”).

Mostly, I’m talking about living an intentional, conscious life. Are you making conscious choices about how to live your life or are you coasting along doing today what you did yesterday? Daily victories are earned when you lay your head down at night knowing that you did YOUR best today.

Life is not perfect. Sometimes we blow it. Sometimes our best efforts fall short. I’m not asking you to judge your daily victories by comparing yourself to others or to some standard that we can’t reach. I’m asking you to judge your daily victories by reflecting on whether or not you are living an intentional life and giving YOUR best effort.

Please do not coast through life. It’s too important!

Focus on today…because daily victories add up to a victorious life!

Now…go! Do something special today. Live a full life TODAY. Don’t wait until tomorrow…


Philipp Knoll said...

Hey Jason,

WOW, this is a truly powerful story. I wish there were people at every school passing such insights and knowledge on to kids. I doubt that I'd have appreciated it back than - but it would have stuck with me and most like would have influenced me along the way.

Sometimes it is just really hard to give 100%. That story will be a great motivation from now on. I'll always be thinking: If you don't get your act together right now and do the best possible then you might as well quit altogether. This applies perfectly to every aspect of live. There are some projects I feel that I have not given 100% to move forward lately. But what I'm most concerned with is - and I happened to thing about that quite a bit lately - did I do all that I meant to or could I have done better with my kids? Just like you said, if I blow it now I can't make up for it. The chance to give my best today will be missed.

Love that article! Thanks, Jason!

Jason said...

Thanks for the comment. We'll never give 100% all the time; but, making a conscious effort every day is the key. Thanks, again, for commenting.

tania palermo said...

I really like the Napoleon Hill quote - and the picture you've posted. This is a good reminder - and I appreciate your encouragement that each reader do THEIR best ... not someone elses.

Jason said...

Thank you for the comment. That is a great quote!