A feeble effort will not fulfill the self.

--Dogon proverb

From Helpful African proverbs, Compiled by Kane Mathis

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Many times, we define “effort” as trying until we can’t try anymore. But I think that too much trying would overwhelm even the strongest of us. Sometimes, effort means relax, surrender. In a society driven by profit, we are often expected to overdo and overachieve until we can’t achieve anymore. Overachieving in the absence of personal purpose is often the precursor to breakdowns. Yet, this is so misunderstood that people often believe that if we expend enough effort, think more positively, or use our willpower, we can beat this thing. It is this kind of ignorance which often drives the person experiencing this into a downward spiral, feeling as if something is wrong with them.

To fully understand that “a feeble effort will not fulfill the self,” we must realize that it does not mean that we deplete ourselves in the doing. It means that we do our best. And if our best means that all we do is get up in the morning and take a shower and put on clean clothes, then that is sufficient. If our best means that we surrender to our God in patience, then that is enough. Please know that the small steps we take are great efforts toward a fulfilled life.

Today, I will acknowledge myself for every step I take.