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Deliberate Practice

Actions Ripple Outward

“He led no armies into battle, he conquered no countries, and he enslaved no peoples… Nonetheless, he exerted a degree of power the magnitude of which no warrior ever dreamed. His name still commands a respect as sweeping in scope and as world-wide as that of any other mortal …” — Said of Thomas Edison


On this day in 1893, Thomas Edison completed the first moving picture studio. Little did he realize that exactly 116 years later, moving pictures would be used to exhaustively document a football game seen by hundreds of millions of people.

But that’s the way it is with actions. They ripple.

Everything you do today will have some consequence, even if you don’t see it immediately. Everything the Super Bowl teams do results from actions they began taking long ago.

Years ago, when I was new on the baseball beat, a veteran sports writer suggested I begin writing a book. He even offered a subject: Pick out a baseball trade and trace its effects for five years afterward.

I never followed his suggestion, and I regret that now. (Maybe you can use the idea.) Such a book would show vividly how a transaction made today can ripple for years.

To use the most obvious example, the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in the off-season of 1919-20. Before then, the Red Sox had been one of baseball’s top franchises, while the Yankees had won nothing. Once Ruth changed teams, so did the fortunes of those two franchises, and the ripples continue even now.

So it is with your life. You make transactions every day. You trade time for some result: a nap, an acquisition of skill, the enjoyment of music, etc. These transactions pile up until they become your destiny.

For athletes like legendary football player Jerry Rice, matchless workouts produced dramatic effects on skill and performance.

Not everyone is willing to make that transaction.
Are you?


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