I had a conversation with a dear friend this past week about effort. We met up in Venice after I finished a keynote and leadership workshop in Milan for UniCredit (more about that later). She came down from Denmark and even though that is just a small plane ride, the effort is a bit more of a decision, since it involves jumping on a water taxi for 1 1/2 hours and walking through small streets and over bridges with your suitcase. But the effort is needed to enter the magic of Venice and so, in a way, the magic and the effort go together. There’s no other way to get there so you might as well enjoy the ride.

I took the train from Milan to Venice, then a smaller ride with a water taxi, and thankfully didn’t have to walk too far, since my luggage was a bit bigger and heavier, but I was not happy when I had to cross a bridge, dragging my big case, only to realize I should have stayed on the other side and waited for the taxi ride. I looked for the car taxi spot and the hotel sent a taxi to the water taxi spot.

When we had both arrived and finally sat down for lunch, we could laugh at all of it, because it really came down to not knowing enough before starting out. 


Heading back we both knew more about what to expect and we felt better prepared; the effort was the same, but the experience was different. Or maybe the mindset?

When we face something new and unexpected, we can choose to resist and struggle or to learn, we can approach it with an attitude of too much effort or with curiosity.

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Originally published on March 1, 2024 at