Tweamster's Blog

Course Correction | December 6, 2010

Because I think it is such a valuable lesson, I share with you today an excerpt from Jeff Olson’s book, The Slight Edge:

What’s the shortest path between two points? A straight line, right? Wrong. While that might be true in theory, it’s never true in reality. And reality is where you and I live – and where we succeed or fail.

Have you driven on any roads lately that are perfectly straight? Even when you’re on one of those interstates that seems like a long straight line to forever, do you hold the steering wheel perfectly still? Or do you move it back and forth, constantly correcting the direction the car is headed? That constant moving of the steering wheel is so familiar, it’s second nature, and you probably never think about it. But if you decided to hold the wheel rigidly in place, you’d be off the road, probably in less than a minute.

And in case you think that’s just a matter of engineering, or of imperfections in the road’s surface, this next example may come as a bit of a shock:

On its way to the moon, the miracle of modern engineering that is an Apollo rocket is actually on course only two or three percent of the time; for at least ninety-seven percent of the time it takes to get from the Earth to the moon, it’s off course. In a journey of nearly a quarter of a million miles, the vehicle is on track for only 7,500 miles … or to put it another way, for every half-hour the ship is in flight, it is on course for less than sixty seconds!

And it gets to the moon?! How is that possible?

Because modern space travel is a masterful example of the Slight Edge in action.

If this machine, one of the most sophisticated, expensive and finely calibrated pieces of technology ever devised was correcting its own off-course errors twenty-nine minutes out of every thirty, is it reasonable to expect that you could do better than that? And even if you were able to match the rocket’s degree of accuracy, you’d still be perfectly on target, on track and on course no more than ten days per year!

For anyone who lacks a grasp of the Slight Edge, being off course is something to be avoided at all costs. After all, if you’re off course, you’re failing, right? But those who understand the Slight Edge embrace Thomas Watson’s philosophy about failure. Here is a more extended version of what he said:

“Would you like me to give you the formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure … You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all … You can be discouraged by failure – or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the other side of failure.”   – Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

(end of excerpt)

It’s Important

This is not a perfect universe, nothing ever goes exactly as planned.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  – Michael Jordan

So, if something doesn’t go quite the way you planned, or you haven’t signed anyone up in weeks, or your last order got mixed up, or you have heard your comp plan explained 14 times and you still don’t get it, or your sponsor and his sponsor both just quit, don’t give up!!

“What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.”  – Mary Pickford

“Some people use failure as an excuse to give up, to become bitter, or cynical. Other people look at failure as an opportunity to revisit past decisions and to devise new strategies.”  – Catherine Pulsifer, from Do Not Be Discouraged

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams

Increase Your Chances

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