Few people take objectives really seriously. They put average effort into too many things, rather than superior thought and effort into a few important things. People who achieve the most are selective as well as determined. – Richard Koch – Author

I am at a point in my life where I have more going on in the external world than ever before. The kids are all grown up and raising their own families and I have become even busier than when they were at home. I have my fulltime job; my women’s group BraveHeart Women which I am extremely active in; and my nonprofit LemonadeMakers has started out with social media and the website will be going live sometime next month.

When I read this quote today, it reminded me of what I saw growing up and continue to see from friends, family and acquaintances. I think that lots of us got into the habit when we were in school and the class was boring. The subject or teacher didn’t interest us in the slightest, so we just put in enough effort to get a passing grade. We may work at a job that isn’t fulfilling and so we put in just enough effort to not get laid off or fired. We have a marriage more of convenience than passion (passion dying out because of our average effort), and so again we put in just enough effort to get by.

We live a life of average – no passion, no fire, no dreams. We are just punching the time clock through our entire life.

This isn’t the kind of life that I want for myself. When I find myself at the “average” effort, I really examine what it is that I want from this job, this marriage, this life? Then I look at where I am at and try to determine if this is something that I want to put the superior thought and effort into changing, or have I outgrown this job or relationship and it is time to move on. Whatever the answer is, it begins with “what do I really want here?” If I can get that here by changing me, then that is what I put my effort into. If I can’t get what I want by changing me, then it is time to let go.

We all have only so many hours in a day. We spend them on something, and we can’t get that time back. When you are lucky enough to find something in your life that you are “on fire” about, that you are passionate about, that is truly life fulfilling, then you need to look at the other areas of your life from a time commitment perspective. You need to let go of things that you may really like to do. I have cut back on the everything in my life that isn’t about my husband, kids; or about my job; or BraveHeart Women and LemonadeMakers.

Life for me isn’t about just getting a passing grade. It is about making a difference. All of my effort to do so comes from leaving behind everything that was of “average effort” in order to dedicate myself to the “superior effort” of creating community for both BraveHeart Women and LemonadeMakers.

If you find yourself wondering at the end of the day, punching the time clock and then sitting on the couch – then now is the time to look back in your life and find the things that you used to dream about doing or being someday. Fine the last thing that you were on fire about, that you were passionate about. Get involved in making those old dreams come true. Dreams can and do come true and they make a life worth living.

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.