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You do not have to be great to start but you start to be great.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Whether is starting a business, setting up a blog, writing an article, learning a foreign language/programming language, running a marathon, reading a book, or cooking. Everyone starts somewhere, crappy, not yet good enough but eventually with consistency and persistence, we all figure it out eventually. You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. The secret of getting ahead in life is getting started.

 Scottish mountaineer and writer W. H. Murray noted in his book, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:

“Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

There are no unrealistic goals, just unrealistic timelines.

It is that time of the year when we set new year resolutions, wishes, goals, expectations, re-order our priorities, change our routines, and pay more attention to our aspirational desires. A goal is a dream with a deadline, we all can achieve whatever we set our mind to achieve. Humans are the only animal that has that superpower to will anything they desire. We set goals at the beginning of the year such as exercising more, saving more, reading more books, nurturing our relationships, learning a new foreign language, the list goes on and on.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve – Napoleon Hill

   By March, most of us begin to falter with our goals because the going usually gets tough, we got bills to pay, work deadlines to meet, children to raise, family responsibilities, etc. Most of us have the desire to achieve our goals but we have not developed the right strategies and techniques for achieving them. Here are 10 strategies that could help you in achieving your goals this year:

  1. Start with WHY

German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “He who has a strong enough why can bear almost anyhow.” It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Whatever would go wrong would eventually go wrong (Murphy’s Law). When you are trying to achieve greatness, it is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, the middle is usually messy, the trying times would always come. The key is to persist by remembering why you started in the first place.

 The year was 2013 and I received the bad news of losing my closest cousin Aloma. I was shellshocked, devastated, and emotionally drained for a long time. During the early grief period, I saw an advert for an upcoming Marathon (Accra Milo Marathon 2013). The Marathon was three weeks away but I enrolled as I needed something to help with my mental health. I participated in my first Marathon as a result of grief and I finished around six hours plus. I ran, walked, crawled, limped, and eventually finished the race because of my Why (running for my deceased cousin). I since participated in 11 Marathons in 6 different cities (Accra, Cotonou, Lagos, Nairobi, Toronto, and Ottawa).

 It is the same for any goal you have set for yourself this year, it is ok to falter once in while. Miss somedays, walk instead of running, crawl instead of speeding up, but don’t forget why you started in the first place. With a compelling WHY, you can deal with any obstacle that would come up eventually.

“He who has a strong enough why can bear almost anyhow.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

2. Start Small

Research shows that people are more likely to achieve a goal if it is subdivided into smaller goals.  According to a 2017 study, Step by step: Sub-goals as a source of motivation by Szu-chiHuang et al – When individuals are initiating a goal and derive motivation primarily from the belief that the final goal state is attainable, the structure of sub-goals enhances the sense of attainability and therefore leads to greater motivation. Conversely, when people are completing a goal and the source of motivation centers primarily on the perception that their actions are of value, a focus on the overall goal (rather than sub-goals) heightens the perceived value of the goal-directed actions and leads to greater motivation. 1

“Behavior (B) happens when Motivation (M), Ability (A), and a Prompt (P) come together at the same moment.”

tiny-habits-bj-fogg

World-renowned Behavior Scientist at Stanford University and author of Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, Dr. BJ Fogg makes a strong case for starting small and setting small achievable goals. He writes:

We live in an aspiration-driven culture that is rooted in instant gratification. We find it difficult to enact or even accept incremental progress. Which is exactly what you need to cultivate meaningful long-term change. People get frustrated and demoralized when things don’t happen quickly. It’s natural. It’s normal. But it’s another way we’re set up to fail.

One tiny action, one small bite, might feel insignificant at first, but it allows you to gain the momentum you need to ramp up to bigger challenges and faster progress. The next thing you know, you’ve eaten the whole whale. 2

“The essence of Tiny Habits is this: Take a behavior you want, make it tiny, find where it fits naturally in your life, and nurture its growth. If you want to create long-term change, it’s best to start small.”

3. Set SMART Goals

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound. The SMART acronym outlines a strategy for achieving your goal. Your goals should be:

Instead of I want to read more book

SMART Goal: I read 100 books by December 31st, 2022

  • Specific: I read 100 Books
  • Measurable: 100 Books.
  • Achievable: There are no unachievable goal, just unrealistic timelines. The 100 books goal is very achievable, you commit to reading two books per week for 50 weeks in the year. It is very doable.
  • Realistic:  Make sure your goals are realistic. Setting a goal to participate in an Ironman Triathlon when you find it hard to climb your condos ten story building is setting yourself up for failure.
  • Time-Bound: Your goal need a time constraint as that would push you to achieve your goal. Remember, a goal is a dream with a deadline.

Experiments have shown that people with SMART goals are more likely to seize on the easiest tasks, become obsessed with finishing projects, and freeze on priorities once a goal has been set. “You get into this mindset where crossing things off your to-do list becomes more important than asking yourself if you’re doing the right things. 3

Living without clear goals is like driving in a thick fog. No matter how powerful or well-engineered your car, you drive slowly, hesitantly, making little progress on even the smoothest road. – Brian Tracy, Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought by Brian Tracy.

4. Write down your goals

According to a study led by Professor Gail Matthews of Dominican University of California, people who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals down. The study involved 267 participants recruited from businesses, organizations, and business
networking groups. Participants were divided into five groups: : Group 1- Unwritten
Goal; Group 2- Written Goal; Group 3- Written Goal & Action Commitments; Group 4-
Written Goal, Action Commitments to a Friend; Group 5- Written Goal, Action
Commitments & Progress Reports to a Friend.

At the end study, Matthews found that writing your goals down enhanced achieving it significantly. 4

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

5. Routinize your goals

As the Greek philosopher, Aristotle once quipped “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” To increase the odds of achieving your goals this year, try to include your goals in your daily routine. For example, to listen to more audiobooks, you can listen to audiobooks when you are on the treadmill at the gym, when lifting weight or other activities like that. One of the best ways of achieving your goal is to include it as something you do on a regular basis. Read on your commute to work, listen to audiobooks in the gym, read a chapter before you sleep, listen to educational materials while driving, etc

“We are what we repeteadly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

6. Prioritize your goals

I am often asked how I am able to read more than 100 books yearly, the answer is simple: Reading is a priority for me. I decided a long time ago to always strive to be a better version of myself daily by committing to lifelong learning. Hence my dedication to reading books daily, listening to audiobooks, listening to podcast among other activities. I challenge myself daily to read, think and relentlessly execute. A priority is something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first. Prioritization is the activity that arranges items or activities in order of importance relative to each other 5

priortize

If you don’t prioritize your goals, you would use your time on things that are less important. As German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once remarked “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.” If you don’t prioritize your time, you would fall inside someone else’s priority.

“I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

7. Set Constraints such as Public Pressure/Accountability Partners/Commitment contract

Setup constraints for achieving your goals such as having an accountability partner, writing about your goals online, and sharing for public pressure, use a commitment contract with online tools such as Stickk. A Commitment Contract is a binding agreement you sign with yourself to ensure that you follow through with your intentions—and it does this by utilizing the psychological power of loss aversion and accountability to drive behavior change. 6

One of the fastest ways to bring accountability to your life is to find an accountability partner. Accountability can come from a mentor, a peer, or, in its highest form, a coach. Whatever the case, it’s critical that you acquire an accountability relationship and give your partner license to lay out the honest truth. An accountability partner isn’t a cheerleader, although he can lift you up.

An accountability partner provides frank, objective feedback on your performance, creates an ongoing expectation for productive progress, and can provide critical brainstorming or even expertise when needed. As for me, a coach or a mentor is the best choice for an accountability partner. Although a peer or a friend can absolutely help you see things you may not see, ongoing accountability is best provided by someone to whom you agree to be truly accountable. When that’s the nature of the relationship, the best results occur. 7

An accountability partner will positively impact your productivity. They’ll keep you honest and on track. Just knowing they are waiting for your next progress report can spur you to better results. Ideally, a coach can “coach” you on how to maximize your performance over time. This is how the very best become the very best. – Gary Keller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

8. Self Compassion

When the going gets tough like they often do, don’t beat yourself up for not achieving all your goals. Have compassion for yourself, be grateful for life, and always make sure you do your best. If you try to do your best most of the time, you would be fine eventually.

Everyone’s life is different, and we are all doing our best. “Our best” today may not be “the best there is,” but it’s the best we can do today. Which is strange. And yet true. And could draw us down into helplessness and isolation if we don’t stay anchored. And the way we stay anchored is with gratitude. 8

When we’re struggling, we may reach a point of oscillating between frustrated rage and helpless despair. Solution: Choose the right time to give up, which might be now or might be never; either way, the choice puts you back in the driver’s seat. – Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski Ph.D. & Amelia Nagoski DMA.

9. Setup Reminders

To achieve your goals this year, set up reminders such as using timers, alarm clock, goal timers, the Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a Pomodoro, from the Italian word for ‘tomato’, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student. 9

Setting reminders allows you to remember your goals, the reminder could be a picture of your goal, a frame, wallpaper, etc. The more you see and are reminded of your goals, the more probable you can achieve them.

10. Review your goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

By constantly reviewing your goals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, you increase your chances of achieving your goals. The more you can review your goals, the better. By reviewing your goals, you can impress your goals into your subconscious mind and with time, you would be on autopilot.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. – General George S. Patton.

Achieving your goals and becoming great is not an easy task as we all find out yearly. it is not enough to set those lofty goals. You need to have a strategy for executing the goals. Anyone can set a goal of speaking a foreign language, what differentiates those that follow through and those that do not is persistence, consistency, and determination. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

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

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital ageSteal Like An Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going The triology by Kleon addresses a different theme in each of the books.

  • Steal Like An Artist: A list of 10 advice for young artists starting (manifesto for creativity in the digital age)
  • Show Your Work:  A list of 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered in the process (Self-Promotion).
  • Keep Going: 10 ways to stay creative and focused during the good and bad times (Creative Resilience)

I found Kleon triology on creativity to be thought provoking, inspiring and illuminating. Here are some great insights from the three books:

Steal like an Artist

“Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso

In 2011, Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out.

What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.

If we’re free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.

Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.”

Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively. They only collect things that they really love.

Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.

steal-like-an-artist

School Yourself

School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.

You have to be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else—that’s how you’ll get ahead.

Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don’t ask a question before you Google it. You’ll either find the answer or you’ll come up with a better question.

Always be reading. Go to the library. There’s magic in being surrounded by books. Get lost in the stacks. Read bibliographies. It’s not the book you start with, it’s the book that book leads you to.

“It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.” —Mark Twain

“All the world’s a stage. Creative work is a kind of theater. The stage is your studio, your desk, or your workstation. The costume is your outfit—your painting pants, your business suit, or that funny hat that helps you think. The props are your materials, your tools, and your medium. The script is just plain old time. An hour here, or an hour there—just time measured out for things to happen.

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Comedian Steve Martin

show-yoor-work-austin-kleon

Show your Work

Show Your Work is a list of 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered in the process. The big idea of the book is that creativity is about the process and not the product. By sharing your process openly, you can build an audience that you can use to gather feedback, make a personal and professional connection or patronage.

show-your-work
Show your work

You don’t really find an audience for your work; they find you. But it’s not enough to be good. In order to be found, you have to be findable.

The best way to get started on the path to sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and make a commitment to learning it in front of others. Find a scenius, pay attention to what others are sharing, and then start taking note of what they’re not sharing. Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts, no matter how bad they are at first. Don’t worry, for now, about how you’ll make money or a career off it. Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.

Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it.—Derek Sivers

By putting things out there, consistently, you can form a relationship with your customers. It allows them to see the person behind the products. Audiences not only want to stumble across great work, but they, too, long to be creative and part of the creative process. By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more of our product.

Whether you’re telling a finished or unfinished story, always keep your audience in mind. Speak to them directly in plain language. Value their time. Be brief. Learn to speak. Learn to write. Use spell-check. You’re never “keeping it real” with your lack of proofreading and punctuation, you’re keeping it unintelligible.

Everybody loves a good story, but good storytelling doesn’t come easy to everybody. It’s a skill that takes a lifetime to master. So study the great stories and then go find some of your own. Your stories will get better the more you tell them.

What you want is to follow and be followed by human beings who care about issues you care about. This thing we make together. This thing is about hearts and minds, not eyeballs. —Jeffrey Zeldman

Look for something new to learn, and when you find it, dedicate yourself to learning it out in the open. Document your progress and share as you go so that others can learn along with you. Show your work, and when the right people show up, pay close attention to them, because they’ll have a lot to show you.

Keep Going

In Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad, author Austin Kleon shares 10 ways to stay creative and focused during the good and bad times.

Keep Going

The creative life is not linear. It’s not a straight line from point A to point B. It’s more like a loop, or a spiral, in which you keep coming back to a new starting point after every project. No matter how successful you get, no matter what level of achievement you reach, you will never really “arrive.” Other than death, there is no finish line or retirement for the creative person.

keep-going-austin-kleon

Creativity is about connection—you must be connected to others in order to be inspired and share your own work—but it is also about disconnection. You must retreat from the world long enough to think, practice your art, and bring forth something worth sharing with others. You must play a little hide-and-seek in order to produce something worth being found.

For anyone trying to discern what to do with their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. That’s pretty much all the info you need. —Amy Krouse Rosenthal

 Go easy on yourself and take your time. Worry less about getting things done. Worry more about things worth doing. Worry less about being a great artist. Worry more about being a good human being who makes art. Worry less about making a mark. Worry more about leaving things better than you found them.

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

We all have to deal with emotionally manipulative people, personality/mentally disordered individuals such as narcissists, sociopaths, or psychopaths, at one point or the other. They come in varying forms, shapes, and relationship styles. They can either be our snake in suits co-workers, enmeshed siblings, entangled and dysfunctional family unit, parents that emotionally blackmail their kids using Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (FOG), friends and acquaintances in sheep clothing.

The Narcissist usually lacks empathy, self-awareness, obsessed with their appearance and how they are perceived by others. Having a relationship with the narcissist is a roller coaster of emotions, it involves walking on eggshells, drama, grief, unnecessary arguments, caretaking, and trying to rescue the narcissists.

Cal Newport is one of my favorite productivity writer. He is the writer that has shaped my view the most about the constructive use of the internet and social media. His books Digital Minimalism, Deep Work, and a world without E-mail were very impactful, thought-provoking and they all made me make some drastic changes. I believe the worth of a great book is determined by the change in behavior and the action that you take after reading the book.

Some of the actions have taken after reading Cal Newport books include deactivating Facebook, deleting Twitter, deleting all posts on Linkedin, stopped using Instant Messengers (such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, et al), Deactivating Instagram. I still check social media daily after work on my desktop to view my favorite comedy skits, Nigerian Musicians that inspire me, and some random stuff. What the insights from reading the Newport books have done for me, is that I am more mindful of how I use the internet, schedule my activities and use my free time to focus on things that matter to me such as personal growth and development, exercise, self-care, content creation et al.

Our parents and care-givers tried the best they could based on their level of awareness and exposure. It is often said that you can not give what you do not have, you can not take people farther than you have gone. As much as our parents and caregivers tried, they were also victims of their upbringing, environment, societal norms and values. They were operating below the veil of consciousness based on the indoctrination, domestication, religious dogmatization, social programming and scripts handed to them by their caregivers. As American Swiss Psychoanalyst Carl Jung once observed “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it would direct your life and you would call it fate.”

Good people are found, not changed. They can change themselves, but you can’t change them

You can’t send a duck to eagle school is a metaphor for the truism: You can not give what you don’t have. A duck can try but it can never soar as high as the eagle. It is not in the DNA of the duck to soar that high, even if you send the duck to an eagle school. The same is true for humans, we all have limitless potential but until we nurture it, push our boundaries, leave our comfort zone(s), take risks continuously, and fail forward. We would continue to be ducks unless we unleash the eagle in us.

 Just like dynamites, the power’s on the inside and nothing happens until the fuse gets detonated. The same goes for us all. We obey Newton’s first law of motion which states that a body at remains at rest or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted upon by a net external force. Our human natural tendency is Homeostasis.

Martha Stout, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a foremost authority on the subject matter of sociopathy. She served on the faculty in psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for twenty-five years. Stout specializes in recovery from psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide.

Dr. Stout has written the following books:

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

John C.Maxwell is my favorite Leadership mentor and author, he is the author who have read his book the most (16), John is a great communicator, highly experienced, knows his stuff, got the jokes, anecdotes, insights, lessons learned, myths, stories, parables and examples of what it takes to be a great leader. I enjoy reading his books as they are very insightful and thought-provoking. According to John, Everything rises and falls on leadership. In The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, John noted that Leadership is an inside job:

 Leaders are effective because of who they are on the inside—in the qualities that make them up as people. And to go to the highest level of leadership, people have to develop these traits from the inside out.

“He who the GODS want to destroy, they give many options”. -African Proverb

There is an African Proverb that says: “He who the GODS want to destroy, they give many options”. We live in a world where we are swamped with endless opportunities, we are bombarded with news, social media reels, stories, entertainment, notifications, advertisement, and lots of great content on the internet. The average person is said to encounter on average between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day. We are long on options but short on time.

The Paradox of Choice is the phenomenon that too many choices often cause us more stress, and less satisfaction when making a decision. Before making a decision, we analyze (analysis paralysis), hedge our bets, keep our options open, and eventually do not even make any decision because of the fear of better options.

The Fear of a Better Option ((FOBO) is a social phenomenon popularized by American Venture Capitalists and author Patrick McGinnis, he defines FOBO as the insidious twin of FOMO.


FOBO, or Fear of a Better Option, is the insidious twin of FOMO. It keeps your from committing to any choice in case another, more optimal opportunity comes along. Thus, you find yourself stretching out the decision making processes (for decisions both big or small) for as long as possible.  Then, at the very last minute, you pick whatever works best for you, without considering the effects your behavior has on those who are impacted by your indecision.

A codependent person is someone who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.

Melody Beattie is the foremost American author on Co-Dependency and codependent relationships. She is a survivor of sexual abuse, abandonment, kidnapping, drug and alcohol addiction, loss of a child, and divorce. I have read a couple of her books and I find her writings to be practical as she knows what she is talking about. She has gone through the journey of codependency and navigating the roller-coaster of entanglement, enmeshment, and drama inherent in codependent relationships.

Her books include Codependent No More (1985–86), Beyond Codependency (1988–89), The Language of Letting Go (1990), The Codependents’ Guide to the Twelve Steps (1990), The New Codependency (2009).

 Did you hear about the codependent wife? Each morning, she wakes her husband and asks him how she’s going to feel that day.

If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?

We all struggle with making tough and somewhat difficult decisions that can be life changing or altering. Decisions such as leaving a high paying job to start a business, leaving a toxic and abusive marriage for the unknown, setting boundaries with our parents, relocating to a foreign land, reducing time spent with draining and fair weather friends. All of these decisions are tough and that is why most of us never make them, hence we stay stuck in abusive relationships, toxic work environments, get enmeshed in our dysfunctional family units, get entangled with friends that are not adding value to us anymore. As American novelist and playwright James Baldwin once said “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

It was just like any workday, login into your system follow the routine, check e-mail, attend meetings, handle security incidents, triage, and close tickets. But on this particular day, I had issues with my login, I tried everything I could but unfortunately, I had to get my manager involved. I had to go to a bank branch nearby to fix the issue.

 I had a one-on-one scheduled with my manager, we finally had the one-one later in the day but it was not what I expected. In our previous, monthly one-on-ones, it was held on skype, no video call but on this faithful day, my manager had his video on, I did not perceive anything was going to happen but shockingly it did.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin

Helplessness is the belief that there is nothing that anyone can do to improve a bad situation (such as being diagnosed with an illness). In many ways, then, helplessness is a belief that control over the situation or its outcomes is impossible. Helplessness beliefs can be either universal (i.e., there is nothing that anyone can do) or personal (i.e., there is nothing that I can do).

There is no challenge in life that you can and will not overcome. Life is not fair and it can be tough most of the time, whatever would go wrong would eventually go wrong (Murphys Law). Life is transient and impermanent, nothing in life lasts forever; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Success is not guaranteed in life but the struggle is. The bigger the struggle, the sweeter the eventual success. Life happens to us all at some point in our lives. As English Songwriter John Lenon famously said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. The storms, trials, tribulations, heartbreaks, disappointments, rejections, failures, challenges, and vicissitudes of life would always come around.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

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