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Deliberate Practice

Getting Basic About Basics

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” — Lyn Yutang

Not far from my home, a bagel store has earned my occasional business and caught my attention.

I’m rooting for it to succeed, but am not sure it will.

That’s because there never seems to be a crowd inside. In fact, most of the time there are more kinds of bagels than there are people.


The store is located on a busy highway, and it’s just not that easy to get in and out of the lot.

What a shame. All that investment of time and effort could go to waste because of a basic flaw. After all, what could be more basic to a store than being able to get in and out easily?

It’s the same way with your practices. You invest time and effort, but are you doing what absolutely needs to be done?

Too many times in my coaching career, I’ve finished a practice, only to realize that we never accomplished what was necessary. You say, “How could that happen?”


Lack of focus. Lack of a practice plan. Poor time management.

And unless you’re careful, the same can happen to you.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes: The most important thing is to make the most important thing the most important thing.

You don’t want to wind up like the bagel store. It’s much less than it could have been because of a very obvious and basic flaw. Make sure you attend to what ABSOLUTELY must be done.


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