September 2021


Not all practice makes perfect. You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise.

We get rewarded in public for what we repeatedly, practice and develop in private. The greats all have something in common: they sweat the small stuff, they are the first in the studio/gym and they are the last to leave, they are the hardest workers in the room and they can and will not be outworked. The ancient Greek poet Archilochus once quipped: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” We become what we do and think about all day long, where attention goes, energy flows. Success is never an accident, it is the deliberate effort and practice put into the actualization of a worthwhile goal.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist,  author, and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl chronicles his experience as a prisoner and survivor of four Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and he also describes his psychotherapeutic method which he called Logotherapy (meaning-centered psychotherapy). The book tries to answer this question: How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?

“‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

“The road to success is not straight, there is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution lights called family. But if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, insurance called faith, a driver called your conscience, you will make it to a place called success.” – T.E. BOYD

Faith is derived from the Latin Fides and old french feid which means confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept. It is easy to have faith when things are going great, the real test of your faith comes during the hard times, tribulations, pain, and trying times. As American Baptist Minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Faith comes in different forms, you can have faith in someone, a religious deity, yourself, the universe, and other people. Faith is believing that your business would get traction with time, even though you can see the signs right now, it is believing you would be fine, no matter what, betting on yourself and your ability. Italian Philosopher and Theologian Thomas Aquinas once quipped “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.

In Running Lean, Entrepreneur and creator of the one-page business modeling tool “Lean Canvas“, Ash Maurya provides a step-by-step blueprint for practicing entrepreneurs who want to increase their odds of success. A business plan rests on a series of leap-of-faith assumptions, each of which can be tested empirically. Running Lean lays out Ash’s approach to breaking these assumptions down so that they can become the subjects of rigorous experiments.

“Running Lean is a systematic process for iterating from Plan A to a plan that works, before running out of resources.”

There is an old joke about someone trying to get to Carnegie Hall and he spots another man carrying a violin case. He asked “Sir, how do I get to Carnegie Hall? The other fellow smiles and says, “Practice, Practice, Practice.” As Greek Philosopher Aristotle once quipped “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Anything worthwhile takes consistent practice, staying committed to the process, and showing up daily. We get rewarded in public, for what we repeatedly and diligently practice in private. Whether it is becoming a prolific best-selling author, olympian, public speaker, entrepreneur, actor, musician, or whatever you want to become, it requires practice. It is often said that “If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject.”

Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of the ending — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, Clinical Psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Henry Cloud shares mindset-altering methods for proactively correcting the bad and the brokenness in our businesses and our lives. Cloud challenges readers to achieve the personal and professional growth they both desire and deserve—and gives crucial insight on how to make those tough decisions that are standing in the way of a more successful business and, ultimately, a better life.

The characters appearing in the book are a philosopher engaged in the study of Greek philosophy alongside Adlerian psychology and a youth who is pessimistic about his life. In the previous work, The Courage to be Disliked, the youth questioned the philosopher on the true meaning of his assertion, based on Adler’s ideas, that ‘People can change. And not only that, they can find happiness.’ The philosopher offered the following statements in response:

“There is no such thing as an internal problem. All problems are interpersonal relationship problems.’ ‘One must not be afraid of being disliked. Freedom is being disliked by other people.’ ‘It isn’t that you lack competence. You just lack “courage”.’ ‘Neither the past nor the future exist. There is only “here and now”.”

“You are not_________” Add YET: I am not_________YET.

Not Yet is a concept popularized by American Psychology Professor and Researcher Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. in her TED talk titled: The Power of believing that you can improve. Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In her TED talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? 

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she argues that there are two types of mindset: Fixed and Growth Mindset. She writes:

A growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives. People with a fixed mindset believe that their qualities are carved in stone. It creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over again.

There are some people, who don’t wait. I don’t know exactly what’s going on inside them; but they have this hunger. It’s almost like an ache.

 American radio and television Journalist  Robert Krulwich delivered the 2011 Commencement Address to the graduating students at the University of California (UC) Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Robert Krulwich 2011 Commencement Speech Transcript:

Keep yourself in fighting trim. If the worst is bound to happen, Spite of all that you can do, Running from it will not save you, See it through!

See It Through’ by Edgar Albert Guest is a poem about navigating the trying and tough times. Guest urged the reader to meet troubles, tribulations and challenges face to face. The poem echos the truism: “Until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.”. As Martin Luther King Jnr. once quipped: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” See it through!

“Until you handle it with grace, it will stay in your face.”.

When you’re up against a trouble,
    Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
    Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it’s vain to try to dodge it,
    Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
    See it through!

In It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, author and Director of The Family Constellation Institute, Mark Wolynn builds on the work of leading experts in post-traumatic stress, including Mount Sinai School of Medicine neuroscientist Rachel Yehuda and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score.

It Didn’t Start with You offers a pragmatic and prescriptive guide to his method, the Core Language Approach. Diagnostic self-inventories provide a way to uncover the fears and anxieties conveyed through everyday words, behaviors, and physical symptoms. Techniques for developing a genogram or extended family tree create a map of experiences going back through the generations. And visualization, active imagination, and direct dialogue create pathways to reconnection, integration, and reclaiming life and health.

Unconsciously, we relive our mother’s anxiety. We repeat our father’s disappointments. We replicate the failed relationships of our parents and grandparents. Just as we inherit our eye color and blood type, we also inherit the residue from traumatic events that have taken place in our family. Illness, depression, anxiety, unhappy relationships, and financial challenges can all be forms of this unconscious inheritance.

Perseverance is the act of continuing in a course of action even though it is difficult, without regard for opposition, discouragement or previous failure. When times get tough like they sometime would, it is always tempting to throw in the towel and give up. Whether it is learning a foreign language, starting a business, running a marathon or learning a programming language, the tough times don’t last but the tough people do. I have tried to learn a foreign language, start multiple businesses, run multiple marathons (11+) and learn various programming languages (Python, Javascript, Java). The common denominator with hard concepts or activities is that, you have to persevere the tough times through deliberate practice, seeing the end in mind and continuously show up daily.

Here are some great quotes on perseverance:

  • Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. – Walter Elliot
  • Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. – Newt Gingrich
  • If four things are followed – having a great aim, acquiring knowledge, hard work, and perseverance – then anything can be achieved. – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  • No one succeeds without effort… Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance. – Ramana Maharshi
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. – Confucius
  • Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success. -Leigh Mitchell Hodges

The best way out is always through. -Robert Frost

  • Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. -George Edward Woodberry
  • Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength. -Theodore Roosevelt
  • Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t. – Henry Ward Beecher

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein

  • A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. – B.F. Skinner
  • Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. – John Quincy Adams
  • The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come. – James Whitcomb Riley
  • Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. – Marie Curie
  • If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius. – Joseph Addison
  • Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. – Calvin Coolidge
  • Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure. – George Eliot
  • If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot
  • Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. – Dale Carnegie
  • Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacle s, discouragement s, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. – Thomas Carlyle
  • Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas A. Edison
  • Success depends upon staying power. The reason for failure in most cases is lack of perseverance. – J.R. Miller
  • Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. -Louis Pasteur
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
  • Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. – Josh Billings
  • What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Winning isn’t everything, but the will to prepare to win is everything. —Vince Lombardi

All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

“Good fences make good neighbors. – Robert Frost”

 In Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin, author and retired therapist Anne Katherine explain what healthy boundaries are, how to recognize if your personal boundaries are being violated, and what you can do to protect yourself.

Healthy boundaries protect without isolating, contain without imprisoning, and preserve identity while permitting external connections. Good boundaries make good neighbors.”

In You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want, anti-guru and author of Get Your Sh*t Together, Sarah Knight shares strategies on how to stand up for who you are and what you really want, need, and deserve — showing when it’s okay to be selfish, why it’s pointless to be perfect, and how to be “difficult.

“Stand up for who you are and what you want.”

You DO You—is about accepting your strengths and your flaws, whether those flaws are self-identified or just things that you’re perfectly happy about but that other people seem to have a problem with.

We are all wonderfulbeautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we‘re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.’ – Emilio Estevez

We live in a perfection-obsessed world where everyone has figured it out but the reality is that everyone is winging it and trying to figure it out. Perfectionism is at the root of our present age mental health crisis, with rising suicide rates, depression, and anxiety. According to a 2016 research study conducted by Thomas Curran (Department of health at the University of Bath, UK) and Andrew P. Hill (York St. John University, UK): self-oriented perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, and other-oriented perfectionism have increased over the last 27 years.

Perfectionism is broadly defined as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990).