New beginnings are exciting.
But big changes come with big challenges.
Whether it’s a new job, class, relationship, or car, the playbook for success remains the same:
Go as hard as you can at the beginning. Follow the rules. Do everything by the book. Get there early. Ask a lot of questions. Show how much you care. Complete all of the assignments, even if they’re pointless.
Because first impressions are everything. People will draw conclusions about you based on your performance in the earliest stages.
Even more importantly, it gives you a good idea of how much effort you actually need to put forth in order to succeed. In this feeling-out period, you’ll gauge what’s needed to get a good grade or to receive a compliment from your boss.
Sometimes (unfortunately), you’ll discover that success actually does demand the level of commitment that’s initially asked for.
But the vast majority of the time, that’s not the case.
So once you feel you’ve earned trust and respect, and once you’ve gained confidence in your abilities to perform the task at hand, then begin to peel back.
Lift the foot off the gas. Slow down. Take a breath.
So much of life is about self-preservation, just simply surviving from one day to the next. We can’t go all out in everything we do all of the time. If we did, we’d burn out and lose sight of our motivation.
So we must strategically save energy in one area of our lives so that we can place that finite amount of energy into another endeavor that requires more of ourselves.
Work smarter, not harder.