Sunday, December 23, 2012


To my son Tommy,

You know what makes an average student an excellent student?  Effort.  You know what the difference between good intentions and great results are?  Effort.  Effort is one of the major secrets to success in this life and in everything you do.  Unfortunately it is one of the oft missing pieces in the lives of people.

I have seen the effects of lack of effort, both personally and professionally.  At work many times people pay lip service and talk about some in theory instead of putting in the effort and dealing with concrete practical application day in and day out.  The old adage too many chiefs and not enough indians comes to mind.  All it really takes is someone taking ownership of a task and putting the effort into getting the job done.

The same thing happens in my personal life.  I am overweight and it is directly because I do not put in enough effort to change.  I grumble about this and that in my life but yet I do nothing to modify the outcome.  The concept of "doing" and matching your words, desires, and beliefs with your actions is not a new one and not even new in the letters I write to you.  But it is definitely worth repeating over and over to you and to myself until I put enough effort into every area of my life and the excuses melt away and results come.

You want to be a good Catholic and follow the tenets of your religion?  Takes effort.  You have to at least come to the table and meet Him half way and work with God's graces.  The difference between married and happily married?  Effort.  Reminding someone how loved they are and how important their love is to you is a daily chore.  Want to make a difference in the social injustices of the world?  Going to take an effort.  The problems in society are not going to fix themselves and if we are all waiting around for that to magically happen, the fix that comes is going to come because of catastrophe. You want to be recognized for all the potential greatness you have?  Well you got to do some thing, some effort worthy of recognition!  You want to live in a clean house?  Effort. Effort.  Effort!

Most anything you desire in this life you can get with the proper amount of effort.  Sure there will be times when you will have your efforts stopped and it will feel like you are spinning your wheels.  This happens because you may have your efforts focused on the wrong areas of your life.  But for the most part if you put out the effort, sometimes only the littlest amount is needed, you will get success and results in most everything you do.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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