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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Don't Throw the Damn Towel

By Tommy Yan

The flawless concert piano virtuoso spends every spare moment working out her chops. She probably hits more wrong keys during practice than a beginner, but you could never tell during her live performance. She gets there by applying herself.

The Olympic long distance runner pushes his body to get his best time. His goal is to win the race. He must discipline himself. No beer, chips or fatty foods.

And the burrito wrapper at the local taco shop works hard for his paycheck. When it's hectic, he must consistently wrap each burrito or taco so fast and tight: it won't fall apart. This is a sign of a pro.

To become that pro, you must stay in the race. Even after making multiple mistakes. There is truth to the action phrase: Practice Makes Perfect.

Which supports the Law of Increasing Intent. You intend to do something enough times—you naturally improve. You have to get better because it can't be helped.

But what happens when you hit a wall?

There will come a time when it feels like you're bashing your head against the wall. The burrito wrapper has maxed out at twelve wraps per minute. The mother is fed up with her baby throwing the cereal. Or the speaker fails to engage her audience.

What can you do?

You plot a new course. You experiment with a different technique. You ask for help. You come up with a new idea. You get creative.

The answer lies within you.

I participate in a speaking workshop. After I enrolled I made noticeable progress, but hit a snag in the following meetings. It began to gnaw on me. I chose to take a new direction, worked hard on it and made a breakthrough. I raised my personal bar.

You don't know what a relief that was. It became a confidence booster. This accomplishment becomes the new lower cap for rising to the next breakthrough moment.

Can you rise above your stagnation?

Absolutely. By tapping into your inner resources, you can come up with the most amazing answers. You can create breakthrough moments if you believe in yourself and the importance of your work. To begin, keep these principles in mind...

It's easier to rise when your purpose is clear. Mama eagle has to provide for her newborns. She must hunt for food. There are no guarantees she'll find any. But she must continue the hunt. Her resolve is clear.

It's easier to rise when it serves the greater good. The batter hits a fly ball to move the runner home. He sacrifices his personal batting average to accomplish a run for the team. The team prospers from his unselfish action.

It's easier to rise when you value your work. The fireman saves lives. The minister ties two into one. The motivational speaker changes hearts. People will value you if they see you treating your work with importance.

Every disciplined activity synergistically works on all your other activities. It tugs and pulls and seems to go nowhere until one day, you reach a defining "aha" moment. That's why quitting is not an option.

When life becomes stagnant—resist the temptation to give up. Don't throw the damn towel. Continue attending the meetings, reading books and expanding your mind. Your breakthroughs will manifest when persisting in positive activity.

Tommy Yan helps business owners and entrepreneurs make more money through direct response marketing. He publishes Tommy's Tease weekly e-zine to inspire people to succeed in business and personal growth. Get your free subscription today at

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