The title of this blog is from a saying by Mahatma Gandhi, “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory”. What does this mean? Gandhi is saying “effort” is more important than “success”.
Gandhi’s theory is if a person makes a commitment to try and complete a task and sees out this commitment, this is far more important than the result. Even if the task is not a “success”, the greatest satisfaction should be in the knowledge that you have maintained your commitment to the end of the task. You are being true to yourself. That the effort you have expended in the completion of the task is your private victory. You may be the only person aware of what you have achieved but the victory is yours to appreciate.
Stephen Covey’s “Private Victories”
Private victory’s are a topic that anybody who has read Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People will recognize. If you can manage a private victory when undertaking a project, you should factor this into your judgement of your performance. If your effort is full and you do not achieve your goal, #fail, you still should be happy with yourself. Give yourself credit and enjoy the fact that you have increased your commitment and stuck to your commitment and seen the task through.
Full Effort means, you can’t Fail!
People suffer because we can not deal with FAILURE. Gandhi is saying that it is okay to fail. It is okay to make the effort and not make a success of your task. “The Effort is Full Victory”. We Irish do not do failure, we bury our head in our hands and cannot see any benefit from the experience. We have all read more than one book or interview from successful business people that they have learned more from failure than from success.
They have those failures at different times, some at the beginning of their careers and some during their careers, but they all have the same thing to say about failure, they learned from it and grew from it. In some cases they took greater pride from a failed project because they know that they gave it everything and like Gandhi realise that “full effort was full victory”.
It is a different thing to fail because you are a lazy so and so, or because the project was affected by outside forces that could not have been factored into your business plan, like a recession. Despite all your effort you could not make the project fly, but it was not from lack of effort. To bring it to a sporting analogy it is competing to the best of your ability but because your opponent is having a better day than you, you can not win. Then you just have to accept that and move on. Not beat yourself up, as there is no point.
Full Effort, can Relate to Life as well as Business!
We should take credit for the full effort and appreciate the victory. Some of these projects can be very different. They do not have to be work related at all. They can be to do with family relationships, they can be hobby, diet or fitness related. I said at the top of the piece it does not matter who knows about the private victory. It can be all the sweeter for it’s privacy. We have to be willing to accept we can not get it right all the time, but when we do we have to give ourselves credit for our achievement.
We Irish do not like praise, we deflect it away as if it will infect us in some way. This normally takes the form of wit or sarcasm and is incredibly deep-seated within our make up as Irish people. It is as if we could not allow ourselves success and certainly we don’t let anybody else know that we are successful. As this would be insulting to the other person even though it is that persons fault that they are not as successful as you.
Can we enjoy the “Victory”?
We do not allow ourselves to savour the victory? Why do we not allow ourselves to bask in our own glory. Why? It is allowed. It is not a sin. It does not have to be conceited. It just has to be fact. If a person as great as Mahatma Gandhi says it is alright then it is good enough for me. To hell with the begrudgers, you do not have to flaunt your victory.
“Full Effort is Full Victory”, and should be treated as such and should be enjoyed. If you celebrate that privately or publicly is up to you. We can all benefit from a clap on the back every now and then. If we learn to treat the twin impostors of, success and failure, life would be much easier for us.
As Declan Kidney, the Irish Rugby Team Coach, said after a heavy defeat to the French, “if we do not overreact after a win or a loss we will find it easier to cope with both.”