Once you start walking, the number of steps always keep increasing. Even if you take some steps back, they are added to the total number of steps that you have walked. These steps are the efforts.
Every small effort matters. Each moment, minute and hour that you take towards your goal with the right intention adds up in the process of reaching your destination. If you intent is wrong or evil, the destination you choose is either an extremely painful lesson or your complete depletion if you choose to not learn and correct your ways and intents at all. Taking these steps and the intent that we keep while achieving something is purely our choice.
That is why people warn you by saying things like “choose your path wisely” or “you won’t be able to go back once you start walking on this particular path” because it is all a matter of choice. Although, sometimes I wonder that universe and energy is true and as popularly believed, we have already chosen everything for us to happen in our human experience and have made it so predefined, then, does making certain choices while living the human life makes any difference largely? This is a doubt in my mind and I believe that it does because we make us and our lives by our deeds and not by what choices we believe that our souls have made even before we were born, i.e., our choices that we make as conscious human beings on Earth rather than as non-humans on unearthly plains but it is also true that all of these choices have their respective consequences that we have to bore from the perspective of all logic and faith.