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Effort Needs No Ceremony

Last Updated: February 8, 2024 by Team


During a spring outing, I met Rainbow, a petite beauty with very fair skin.

She was not very satisfied with her appearance: 5’3″ tall and weighing close to 130 pounds. Hearing that I was a running enthusiast, she immediately added me on Messenger, hoping to join me for morning runs every day to get in shape.

I readily agreed, promising to call her each morning to wake her up and meet at a designated spot to run together.

On our first day, Rainbow impressed me: brand-new sportswear, a high ponytail, and a phone armband, exuding a determined and spirited aura.

As I began to explain the route and running tips, she gestured for me to “wait a moment” and asked me to take her photo first.

I thought the novelty of starting to run might make her eager to take a photo once, then focus on the exercise. However, she insisted on taking photos every day, from different angles and in various running poses.

Eventually, I realized she was taking photos to post on her social media.

Her social media was filled with daily running photos accompanied by motivational captions like “Runners, keep it up” and “Run further to see more beautiful scenery.”

I felt that the time spent taking photos could be better used to run a few more miles. Running while taking photos and editing them, stopping now and then, I doubted the effectiveness of such workouts.

Rainbow, however, thought this added a ceremonial feel and that social media oversight would boost her confidence to keep going.

Yet, the grand start of her running venture lasted only half a month before she quit, blaming leg pain.

She called herself weak-willed. I silently thought: You’re not weak-willed, just half-hearted in your efforts.

Effort requires no ceremony.

True effort is a direct march towards a goal, not for show.


Not long ago, my cousin’s wife earned her accounting certificate.

With a modest educational background, equivalent to middle school, she longed to end the long-distance relationship with my cousin, who worked out of town. But lacking higher education and special skills, she found it hard to find a job elsewhere, so she decided to get an accounting certificate.

When she shared the news of her certificate, I was surprised. She had attended the training classes near my place, and I had no clue!

I asked why she hadn’t told us; she could have stayed with us during her training in the city, and we could have supported her with study materials.

She said studying was her personal matter, not needing publicity. Besides, she wasn’t sure she could pass at first, and others’ expectations could have added pressure.

It took her two sessions over three months to pass the training.

Wise as she was, once she set her goal, she quietly persevered, undistracted by external factors.

True effort is silent.


Too many people treat effort as a “persona.”

They make a big show before starting a task or discuss lofty goals without any groundwork, as if their effort is not for achieving results but for performing a ritual.

If everyone who talked about working hard actually put in the work, the world would have fewer regrets.

Often, the difference between us and the truly successful is just a bit of genuine, grounded effort.

True effort is the stability of “Wealth has no roots; it comes entirely from hard work,” the diligence of “After reading thousands of books, writing comes naturally,” and the progress of “To see a thousand miles further, climb one floor higher.”

All efforts based on strength are quiet.

Effort needs no ceremony, just roll up your sleeves and get to work.

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