Archive for the ‘Follow-Through’ Category

Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1828, by J.K. Stieler; Public Domain)

It is a fine and noble cause to create a great vision for where we want to go, what we wish to become, what we plan to accomplish; but the vision is worthless unless we are willing to spend the overwhelming bulk of our day bringing it to fruition.

That means more than putting ourselves in the arena; it also means completing the seemingly endless hours of mind-numbing training needed to compete—and win—in the arena of our chosen industry. This is where the overwhelming majority get lost, in what T.S. Eliot called “the shadow.” But, if we persist, it is also where we grow.

—Mike Hazell

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There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, yields the true glory.

—Sir Francis Drake (by Marcus Gheeraerts; Public Domain)

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No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.


Plutarch (public domain)

…But how many times have we “wetted the clay” only to walk away from what could have been? We have a grand vision, an epiphany; we see precisely what we want to accomplish, we wet the clay in preparation, and then it happens. A thousand little negative forces come at us. From doubt, to procrastination, to simple distraction. The clay hardens.

No matter what great idea your mind has hatched, I guarantee you that others could find a thousand reasons why it will not work. The market is saturated. Someone has already done it. It is too costly. You don’t have the experience needed to complete the project. Uh oh, maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all.

No! There was something about this undertaking that got you excited, made you passionate. So put up your hand and dispel every one of the forces trying to separate you from the wet clay. You will build it, and nothing is going to stop you. Start small, using just enough clay to shape the first brick. Then repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

When you hatched the idea for your project, you immediately designed a blueprint (at least you should have) showing what your completed masterpiece would look like. Now, break it down into the smallest of segments, and begin with the first—focusing all of your attention and energy on it. Completing that segment is your only mission. Once it is completed, the brick hardens, and you have successfully moved forward.

If you follow this plan of attack, something amazing will happen. You will gain confidence in your own abilities and you will be more focused on tackling the next step in the process. So, embrace your plan, and complete your masterpiece, brick by brick!


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Between the conception and the creation, between the emotion and the response, falls the shadow.

Eliot, T.S

—T.S. Eliot

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