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Our secret beach is a very special spot. We found it by accident. We used to visit a beach about a mile away but a local loose dog forced us to find a new spot. Palm Beach is very private and the particular beachfront we visit has minimum home price of $20 million.

Beach access is reserved for residents, however, the waterline is public. By offering a very limited public parking the residents of Palm Beach can discourage anyone that doesn’t want to walk at least a mile.

Our spot is located in front of a lot that is undeveloped due to Indian artifacts. The beach offers a natural breakwater in the form of a reef about 50 yards offshore and during low tide an olympic size swimming pool forms. Most days, we have the place to ourselves. With our picnic and umbrella we prepare to spend the day.

This weekend something odd happened. A fellow beach goer last weekend tipped me off to a super secret parking spot for the secret beach. The secret parking spot is only a two minute walk, a far cry from the normal fifteen minute walk. So, we tried it. A little nervous that our car would be towed immediately, we kept a low profile as we crossed the street and traversed the lot containing the Indian artifacts. We made our way through the tunnel in the sea grapes and voila. Instantly there, no effort at all.

The funny thing is, my wife and I both felt different. It was too easy. Something was off. As we parted the beach hours later we both remarked, almost simultaneously, “we hated our new secret parking spot”.

We love our secret beach because it requires an effort to get there.

Another example of this observation is my favorite beach pastime; coconuts. There exist a number of coconut trees along our beach. The easy to reach coconuts are too small and do not offer any nut or juice. It is only the coconuts that are out of reach that are worth having. I use only tools accessible on the beach. My best success in reaching the 15 feet to the top of the tree, is to fashion a long stick with a slip knot at the end. Once I have successfully lassoed my coconut down I have to de-husk it. My dog, Broker, is exceptionally well endowed for that task. It takes a full thirty minutes to finally pop one of the three “eyes” open and get to the juice and nut. It is delicious.

I can buy coconut water for $1.50 and whole coconuts at Whole Foods, as many as I can carry, but I don’t want those. I want the coconut that was hard to get because the effort increases the reward.

To truly transform your life and particularly your health, it is going to take an effort. Without effort you are left with half an experience. It is the effort that will be remembered, not the final goal.

Our society offers us thousands of opportunities to participate in the final benefit without the effort. Feel fat, have a surgeon suck it off. Feel depressed, take a pill. Suffer from a clogged artery, get a stent.

The fact is, you cannot get rock hard abdominal muscles in five minutes a day and most lottery winners lose their money.

The effort is the real victory, not the victory itself.

My wife and I know a lot of people who embark on transforming their lives and changing bad habits with good habits. In every case it is the journey that creates the foundation. It is the daily fortitude to abide by your willpower and take control of your existence that defines the success of an objective.

Seek out the effort and be less concerned with the result. Your true transformation will occur not from shallow victories but will be built on a cumulation of blood & sweat effort.