Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

(Quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill)

Knowledge does not guarantee success.

Nor does ability.

There are plenty of extremely intelligent people sitting on bar stools, still trying to revel in the glory of their high school football days — while their current affairs are in absolute shambles.

There are plenty of fully capable people relying on hand-outs to get by.

How can that be?

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The secret to success in any endeavor

One thing eventually leads to success without fail.

One thing is the chief separator between winners and losers:

That factor is continuous effort.

Beginning is not enough. You must keep going.

The sure way to lose is to quit.

How to get to the top of the mountain

The old story tells of a monk on a pilgrimage to the holy mountain.

He had walked and walked and walked for months.

Thirsty, hungry, tired … he saw an old man sitting under a tree.

“Pray tell, sir, how do I get to the holy mountain from here?”

Came the reply:

“Just keep walking in that direction.”

Why do people join a gym in the first place?

Fitness centers are notorious for powerful starts and lousy endings.

The new year brings a flood of new recruits, but by March or April many have abandoned the pursuit.

Why is that?

Do they no longer need to get back in shape or stay in shape?

Has their health miraculously improved?

The usual reason given is “There’s no time” or “It costs too much.”

Seldom do they reflect on how much time and money (and effort) being overweight or dealing with a heart condition or facing any of the other physical ailments often brought on by a lack of exercise and a poor diet can bring.

I’m not saying this because this article is being written for a health club.

I’m writing it because it’s true.

Nothing is free in this world. Not coffee, not hamburgers, and certainly not good health.

Somebody always pays the price.

If you want to feel good, you have to do good.

That’s the bottom line.

Use it or lose it. The only shortcut to fitness is a shorter route to the gym.

A parting challenge

What is there that you really want to accomplish, but can’t quite pull off?

Identify a small step in that direction. Take the step and keep walking.

Don’t stop.

Achievement always takes sacrifice.

Identify your goal, then ask yourself whether you’re really willing to pay the price to obtain it.

When you find something that important to your life … go pay the price.

You’ll never regret that decision.

Come on down to the gym. Let’s talk about it.

Together, we can do a whole lot more than either of us can do alone.