Law of Equal Effort: How to Do Big Things Without Burning Out

Law of Equal Effort: How to Do Big Things Without Burning Out
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A few weeks ago, I ran my eighth marathon. I'm hardly the world's leading expert on running. I've never followed a formal training schedule, hired a coach, or joined a running club and I'm not fast -- my PR is just 3:49:00 -- but I've always finished.

The training matters, but what gets me through a race as difficult as a marathon is an approach I take in my life that just happens to help my running, too.

I call it the Law of Equal Effort, and it's incredibly simple: Regardless what life throws at you, you put in the same effort.

Following this theory, the progress you make over time can vary significantly but, in the end, you get to the same place and you feel a lot better when you're done.

It's an important approach when you're taking on a long-term challenge and you don't feel confident. And it's an appealing approach because you're in control. You don't always get to decide when things will be hard or easy for you, but you do get to decide how you deal with the ups and downs when they come.

Here's how you can put the Law of Equal Effort to work in your day-to-day life, as well as a few situations when you should take a different approach. We'll apply it to three examples: running a marathon (naturally), starting a business, and building a relationship.

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