The subtle difference between effort, and effort with direction.

Happy New Year. No, scrap that. Happy New Day  – everyday.

Stay with me here. There’s nothing wrong with wishing people Happy New Year, but why not Happy New Day. After all, when that sun comes up, it is a brand new day, which leads me nicely into this post…

As I write this I am in Rishikesh, part of the Uttarakand state of India. It’s known as the gateway to the Himalayas, as well as the (so called) yoga capital of the world. It’s also a holy place, particularly for the Hindu religion.

Ram Jhula bridge over the river ganga

I didn’t come here to practice yoga having fallen out of love with it after I injured myself last year, but I decided to give it another chance.

It’s gone well, and I’ve been lucky to have met two respected (and genuine) teachers. One of which gave me the idea for the post.

In the middle of his class he drops in snippets of philosophy to what is otherwise a very physical practice.

It’s done with a smile on his face and in such an easy to understand way, you can’t help but listen.


Last week he was talking about the difference between effort, and effort with direction. I’ll use his words loosely. I don’t think he’ll mind….here we go:

If this line ‘ ————- ‘ represents effort, then this line ‘ ———–> ‘ represents effort with direction. He went on to say that everyone is making effort, but not always with direction.

This got me thinking. I know I’ve been guilty of this. I used to run on autopilot without considering if I was putting my time, effort, and energy (the mind is energy after all) in the direction I wanted.

Of course, this is a bit idealistic. We’ve all got places to be and things to do. It’s also easy to say this whilst travelling in India.

But, i’m also convinced it’s worth a moment of time to ensure efforts are in a direction we wish to head. Otherwise what are we doing – going round in a circle, or spreading ourselves so thin we achieve nothing. And where’s the fun in that?

(Note to self!)

Have a good day.

PS. I write these posts for 3 reasons. I hope they are of use. Leave me a comment if so, and feel free to share out.

– To help me remember, and understand, my own experiences.

– To share back to others in hope of adding value.

– To tempt interest in a book I wrote which tells the story of what happened (and what I learned – subtly) during a period of travel, change, and adventure.

2 thoughts on “The subtle difference between effort, and effort with direction.

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