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.
But I'm confident if the boys apply themselves we have a fair chance of taking them."
The PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for August said: "I think the outside perspective would have been that maybe Tipp players didn't apply themselves in the same way in the years after they won All-Irelands.
Budget is the singular most important tool for an economy hence, the MPs, who are responsible for its formulation, must apply themselves fully to it.
Reporters and sub-editors may also apply themselves. Reporters across all media--print, electronic and online--are welcome to apply online.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said his boys went out and worked really hard to apply themselves. He said the first innings lead we got in the first innings was really crucial.
Without a doubt they can take nine points from these games if they apply themselves.
He, therefore, called on the first set of fellows to utilise the opportunity and apply themselves with the energy required to succeed.
According to the advertisement, academics interested in the post could apply themselves or their names could be nominated by scholars or academics.
Arthur urged his side to apply themselves the way they did in the previous Test.
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.