Should you force things?

Often times I am faced with a challenge or a project or a plan, and I don’t know whether to force an outcome to materialize or to toss it into the river of life and see where it ends up due to circumstance and chance.

On the one hand, with patience, practice, and skill, a person can achieve a stated goal by following a timeline of particular action steps directed at that goal.  But sometimes, unforeseen circumstances get in the way, and other times, you loose interest in the goal while you still have a lot of work left to achieve it.  Another possibility is that you expend as much effort as humanly possible and the goal stands yet unattained due to a mismatch between ability and outcome desired.

A different approach is to state your intentions around a particular goal and then keep an eagle’s eye out for opportunities popping up in your community and your known world, taking action only when an opportunity becomes visible to you.  For example, you tell your friends you are looking for a job in a different field, and two months later, one of your friends sees an ad for a job and shares it with you.  You apply and get the job.  You are qualified for the job because you went to grad school, although at the time applied to grad school you had intended to go into a different field of work but the education changed your mind and opened your eyes to different career paths, etc.

On a scale of 1 to 100 percent, what is the ideal quantity of effort to expend on a daily or weekly basis?  It would be really nice to know.  If you expend 100 percent effort on one stated goal, you will neglect the other aspects of your life.  But is 100 percent effort for seven or eight hours a day really necessary for any hoped-for result?  What if you do nothing except keep your eye out, and the perfect opportunity drops in to your lap?  Is that an achievement, or is it “meant to be?”  Is anything that happens meant to be?

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