A few days ago, I spent the evening watching basketball games. In each of the two basketball games I watched, a player blocked the opponent’s layup shot, preventing a two point play, only to have the ball caught by another opposing player who then scored a three pointer.

So instead of two points, the opposing team scored three! But the player who blocked the shot couldn’t be blamed for the outcome. He didn’t know how things would play out.

What this means in a more general sense is that there’s no guarantee that every time you exert effort, it will pay off. Sometimes the things we do may even backfire and set us back.

This doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, it makes you think. Should I have done something else? What should I do next time?

I try not to worry about it too much, as long as I did my best. I know that I may not make progress every single time, but in the long run, the consistent effort will maximize my chances of reaching the desired outcome. And even if I ultimately fail to reach the goal, knowing that I gave it my all always gives me peace of mind.