Words of wisdom and miscellaneous facts by Dr. Wysong and others. This is an accumulation over several decades and the accuracy cannot be attested to.
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Thomas Edison performed thousands of experiments to get to a desired end point. He would say, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." He also said, "The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like hard work." * One artist credited his success with his determination to do 10 more drawings each time his art instructor would assign the class a certain number of sketches. One football great came 15 minutes early to practice and stayed 15 minutes late. The result? Thirty minutes a day made the difference between ho-hum and greatness.
It's easy to assume that the success of those who rise to the top is due to some kind of special gift, or that they were just lucky. But in most cases that is not true. The real talent is the will to pay a higher price in personal effort than the competition. The winners in life may make everything look easy but behind that look of grace and ease are thousands of hours of fumbling, blundering, losing, awkwardness, toil, error, and sweat. Hard work is the alchemy for success.
A probe into the history of any successful person will reveal these common themes:
• Make a plan to achieve a goal, and then do it with urgency, enthusiasm, and persistence.
• There must be the will to prepare to win.
• Success is never final and failure never fatal; you must simply move on with the commitment to succeed. There are no short cuts, just long work.
• Adapt and change as necessary to achieve the goal.
• Don't fear competition or losing; use them as opportunities to learn and become better.
• Every day improve.
• There are no secrets, there is only work.
• If you want to win, you've got to leave everything on the playing floor.
• Desire and intention are the most dynamic of our faculties; they do work.
• Be willing to make the effort, pay the price, and get at it—now.
Here are some aphorisms that repeat these lessons in clever ways:
• You're never a loser until you quit trying.
• Triumph is the result of a little "umph" added to "try."
• The only time you can't afford to fail is the last time you try.
• The doors of opportunity are marked "PUSH."
• The smallest action is greater than the greatest intention.
• Ideas bring in nothing unless carried out.
• The only way to coast is by going downhill.
Larry Bird, who eventually turned out to be one of the greatest NBA basketball players of all time, admitted to very little natural talent. But did he work! One time, when playing an NBA all-star game, he had to step to the line for free throws. At this point in his career he was shooting over 92% in free-throws and leading the entire league. He missed both shots. Reporters following him to the locker room afterward noted Larry's sullen attitude in spite of the fact that his team had won the game. They assumed it was the missed free throws and asked him why he thought he missed them, Larry responded, "It's my fault. I didn't take my 100 free-throw practice shots today."
Preparation, practice, determination, effort, belief in oneself, willingness to adapt, changing, and always learning and improving are the keys to success. Ernest Hemingway reportedly went back through his manuscript of The Old Man and the Sea eighty times, grooming and editing it. Virgil spent twelve years working on the Aeneid and was perfecting it up until he died. Leonardo da Vinci spent twelve years on The Last Supper and often would be so absorbed in the work he would forget to eat. Michelangelo's The Last Judgment was preceded by more than two thousand preliminary sketches.
We can make a difference, we can become better people, we can improve the world, we can be the healthiest our genetic potential permits, we can achieve and succeed. It all directly depends upon how much fuel we are willing to put in the engine.
Life is about challenge, not just to survive, but to survive well. Mediocrity can become greatness if we are simply willing to pay the price of hard work.
*Go to thomasedison.org for an astonishing account of the amount of effort put forth by America's most prolific inventor.
1. We Can Agree
2. Possibility Thinking
3. The Solver Principles
4. Our Owner's Manual
5. We Live in A Unique Time
6. Being Health Smart
7. The Illusion of Youth Health
8. The Good Old Days
9. Timing Life
11. Hormones and Steroids - A Two-Edged Sword
12. The Female Hormone Problem
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14. Squaring the Curve
15. Healthy Dos and Don'ts
16. The Medical Profession
17. The Greatest Threat to Health
18. Don't Surrender to Medical Care
19. But We Live Longer Today
20. Dollars Don't Make Health
21. Disease Does Not Strike Us
22. Germs Don't Cause Disease We Do
23. From Where Does Healing Come
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33. Blaming the Parents
34. Surviving Tragedy
36. Music as Healer
38. Pets as Life Savers
39. Pet Keeping - A Serious Responsibility
40. The Myth of 100 Complete Pet Foods
41. Feeding Pets as Nature Intended
42. Industry vs. Earth
44. Modernity's Deception
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48. Doing Good With Business
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54. The End of Civilization
55. Freedom Is Not Equality
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60. The Family Nest
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66. Life Is Uncertain
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70. Finding Home
71. Learn From History
72. Shaping the Future
73. The Other Line Always Moves Faster
74. Little Things Add Up
75. Growing Up
78. Paying the Success Price
79. Change A Wonderful Thing
80. Being the Best You Can Be
81. Do Something, Something Happens
82. Change the World
83. Growing Good People
86. Listen and Learn
87. Mind Over Matter
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91. Life Is Math
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97. End and Beginning