The link between effort, outcome, and AA

When Bill Wilson developed what would later become the 12-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, even though his program was working for himself, keeping him free from his addiction to alcohol, it was not so well received by others.

He would work extensively with his “friends” to help them break the bonds of alcoholism, only to have them fall back into familiar patterns, time and again.

Though many would have seen this initiative as a failure, Bill decided to measure success by his desire and willingness to share it, not by whether it was well received or not.

This highlights such a crucial consideration in the change process that effort is so much more important than the outcome. The effort, in fact, was within his control, while the outcome was not and he kept focused on action instead of reaction—brilliant!

Bill’s growth mentality led to one of the most significant spiritual contributions our society has ever known all because he believed he was worthy of the effort it took to create a different way forward.

“To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Bill Wilson



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