Been “trying to hard?” Cut it out…

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Nothing good ever comes out of “trying too hard.”

It’s a great way to dull your chain slicing next season’s firewood. Try too hard D.I.Y.-ing a home remodel? You’ll never truly be happy with the finished result. Especially when covering those drywall seams – beyond annoying. Relationships – Whooo – try too hard and you’re annoying and smothering.

Speaking from experience, I guess the best thing is to simply “do your best,” with moderate expectation. I’m not going to say “lower your expectations,” ‘cause then you find yourself half-assing the job.

I think this concept applies to your professional and personal life, as well. In my line of work, over a decade ago…man, I was trying as hard as I possibly could, but I wasn’t getting the results we’d like to see for the time we put in.

Then my brother randomly challenged me to run the original marathon in Athens, Greece – drunkenly accepting the challenge, I had to train. And over a period of eight months…I was forced to diversify the focuses in my life. I was no longer trying too hard, focused on one thing – I stole time from that to exercise, run, and prepare for the torture…I mean, marathon.

It was weird. During that 8-month span…a bunch of positive life-changing events happened. I finally achieved the goal of home ownership – I met the woman of my dreams who’s now my wife – unforeseen opportunity smacked me in the face, which led to the professional path I tread today – and results with the job I was working at the time turned toward extraordinary. Oh yeah – and I was getting exercise. Whoopty-doo.

Since then – focused on protecting all I’d gained (all at once) after years of “trying too hard,” it’s fair to say I hit the popular human speed bump of reverting back to old patterns. It’s what we do…we’re human.

But that whole “trying too hard” thing – it’s exhausting.

I’m not going to start singing Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin’” – but I will advise this: Enough with that all-consuming challenge. “Trying too hard” isn’t worth it – Do your best, diversify your focus, and use a little expectation… moderation. Live like you were flying…by the seat of your pants.

There’s a lot more great stuff available in the unexpected than from the harness of trying too hard to get what you THINK you want.