Mindstate Motivation Blog


The late sportswriter Grantland Rice once wrote:

“You wonder why they do it and you look to see the knack.
You watch the foot in action, or the shoulder, or the back.

But, when you spot the answer where the higher glamours lurk,
You’ll find in moving higher up the laurel covered spire,
That the most of it is practice and the rest of it is work.”

The lesson we can all take from Mr. Rice’s poem is none of us can expect to maximize our potential without continously honing our skills. Skills are the “how” of what we have to do to achieve in any pursuit.

Some pursuits require highly developed physical skills…professional athletics, as an example. Some pursuits require highly developed intellectual skills…professor of philosophy, as an example. Some pursuits require the absolute highest development of both physical and intellectual skills…NFL quarterback who has a doctorate in philosophy.

Most of us aren’t in any of the pursuits noted in the previous paragraph so why be concerned about our level of skills development? The answer is simple…just living our lives to the fullest requires us to practice certain skills effectively. In other words, to get to the top of the “scoreboard of life” we have to be highly practiced in the key skills necessary to success in our niche in life. We score with skills!

For most of us, the single most important body of skills necessary for maximizing our potential is our ability to communicate with other people effectively. Practicing the simple skills of offering a ready smile to people or looking them directly in the eye can be overwhelmingly powerful tools of connection to people.

When it comes to learning the key skills to highly effective communication, I still believe the single best resource is “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. You might ask, “Why should I read and old book like that?” The short answer lies in another book that I highly recommend, The Fred Factor, by Mark Sanborn. Mark makes a compelling argument that one of the principles in life is “Success is built on relationships.” You can’t build relationships without being a highly skilled communicator.

Define for yourself what the key physical and intellectual skills are for each of the important pursuits in your life and then dedicate yourself to constantly honing those skills. Remember…when it comes scoring the greatest sense of well-being and achievement in our lives, “the most of it is practice and the rest of it is work.”

I help people and organizations Profit Through Performance. As a speaker, trainer and business consultant/coach, my areas of expertise to help drive improved performance are Success Principles; Leadership, Presentation, Sales/Communication Skills; and Strategic Planning/Problem Resolution.

Copyright (c) 2007 Gary Greenfield, Performance Alliance, L.C. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be used without prior written permission.

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