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Deliberate Practice

The Power of One

“How bad do you want to be good?” — quoted by Patty Sullivan

Let’s start with a trick question today, the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Lincoln.

Why do we celebrate Lincoln’s birthday?

You’re tempted to say we do it because Lincoln was a great president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation and saw the country through the Civil War.

But remember. This is a trick question.

The reason we celebrate Lincoln’s birthday is because of a man named Julius E. Francis. Operator of a drug store in Buffalo, N.Y., for many years, Francis made it his life work to honor Lincoln’s memory. You can see his picture and read the story here.

Francis leaves a legacy as great as Lincoln’s. It reminds us of the power of one. Great things — music, books, political movements, inventions, religions — almost always begin with one person.

Like Lincoln or Francis, you can be that one person in your gym, your family or your community.

Your excellence will come from the power of one. Only you can make yourself great. Others can guide you and help you, but only you can embark on a regimen of deliberate practice.

It’s all a question of how much you want it.


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