apply oneself

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apply oneself

To try hard or concentrate one's abilities (toward something). Without the preposition "to," it refers to a concentrated effort in general. I know you think you won't be able to understand this level of math, but you just need to apply yourself, and you'll find success. If we apply ourselves to the problem, we'll find a solution eventually.
See also: apply
References in classic literature ?
The knowledge of the master is to be able properly to employ his slaves, for the mastership of slaves is the employment, not the mere possession of them; not that this knowledge contains anything great or respectable; for what a slave ought to know how to do, that a master ought to know how to order; for which reason, those who have it in their power to be free from these low attentions, employ a steward for this business, and apply themselves either to public affairs or philosophy: the knowledge of procuring what is necessary for a family is different from that which belongs either to the master or the slave: and to do this justly must be either by war or hunting.
Let parents choose betimes, the vocations and courses they mean their children should take; for then they are most flexible; and let them not too much apply themselves to the disposition of their children, as thinking they will take best to that, which they have most mind to.
And so with pain and toil we have reached the end of one subject, but more remains to be discussed;--how and by what studies and pursuits will the saviours of the constitution be created, and at what ages are they to apply themselves to their several studies?
As to the Englishmen, I promised to send them some women from England, with a good cargo of necessaries, if they would apply themselves to planting - which I afterwards could not perform.
The great delight and energy with which the two young ladies apply themselves to these duties, turning up their skirts in imitation of their mother and skating in and out on little scaffolds of pattens, inspire the highest hopes for the future, but some anxiety for the present.
And the Dale chief reckons his players can shine on the big stage regularly if they apply themselves like some of their Premier League counterparts.
Speaking at the occasion, the NAFOWA National President, Hajiya Hafsat Sadique Abubakar, asked the 150 participants to take the training seriously and apply themselves towards getting impressive results.
Instead Brighton failed to apply themselves in the way they had before promotion and were caught out by a Bristol City set on gatecrashing their celebrations.
Shame they can't apply themselves to something useful at that time in the morning.
Oncology patients benefit from techniques that they can learn quickly and apply themselves for managing their treatment-related anxiety.
If my lads apply themselves correctly then we can beat anyone.
But manager Martin Gray will make sure they can apply themselves at this level, before making a long term commitment.
You sometimes see lads with all the ability in the world who don't apply themselves.
Encouraging Black males to apply themselves, exert more effort and persevere with passion, despite setbacks, seems to be just as important as emphasizing previous grades and test scores," says Strayhorn.
That is because everything else is forgotten when they apply themselves to a task but only women have the ability to do more than one thing at a time.