Does Effort equal Results?

Written by Ajay Narain Kaul and Julie Holmwood

A giant ship engine failed. The ship's owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine

Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.
Two of the ship's owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand pounds
"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!"
So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemised bill."
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer…… ……… …….. £ 2.00
Knowing where to tap….                     £ 9, 998.00


Effort is important, but knowing where to make that effort makes all the difference!

Running around, here and there, busy busy busy but feel like you're chasing your tail and getting nowhere fast? Are you focusing your effort in the right place? Sometimes taking some time out to allow yourself to think where to tap saves more time than you realised you were losing.
You start to do a five minute job, it doesn't go quite as you planned. Three weeks later you are still challenged. Does that sound at all familiar?

There are now two really sensible options

The first is to outsource or delegate the project. Find the old man with the little hammer who knows exactly where to tap. You will save time, money and hair (by not pulling yours out) by getting this task completed straight away
The second is to go for a walk or do something else. Move onto a new task, a new problem, a different challenge. Your conscious mind, the one that chatters to you, can only handle a few chunks of information at any given time. When you are tackling something new you can overload yourself and this can bring feelings of being out of your depth or you can perceive that matters are out of control
Your subconscious mind is able to process at least 2million bits per second (I have also seen this number quoted as 4trillion bits per second). That is a lot of stuff going on back there! When you can quiet and calm your conscious mind, your subconscious has the power to sort all of that data into a solution. As it feeds back into your conscious mind it often feels like intuition or a hunch.
Can you remember a time that your hunch was spot on? You are so much cleverer than you know and are given credit for!
Think about taking your mind of your problem, whatever it is. Going round in circles doesn't get you anywhere new, just back where you started. Relax, take a deep breath, take your eye off the clock and your mind off the issue … before you know it, tomorrow, the day after, your hunch will come and you will instinctively know where to tap!
For more information on Ajay or to connect with him directly please visit his Facebook page or connect with him on LinkedIn


Julie is the Lead Career Coach at Churchill Brook. She works with clients who are frustrated by their career success (or lack of it) and her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant. She is available to work with limited clients on a one-to-one basis or via our popular career change group classes (check out ‘what we offer’).

Before joining Churchill Brook in 2009, she spent twelve years as an international headhunter, where she successfully helped her clients to recruit exceptional people. She is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry

AuthorsTalk to her on Facebook,    Twitter and LinkedIn

Another article you might enjoy about self development

If you would like to see more articles about capabilities, developing your strengths, or making your life work for you please let us know below
© 2011 Churchill Brook International
Want to use this article on your website or in your ezine?
Of course you can, but you MUST include this information.
Churchill Brook International Career Coaches lead career professionals to greater success and higher personal incomes through laser coaching, mentoring and personal branding. We teach you how to create your success and achieve your career dreams. To get your FREE eBOOK and career articles go to  

Previous post:

Next post: