Monday, December 19, 2005

Thought of the Day..

During the morning drive today, I had a deep thought (for once). I was listening to an interview of Melanie McQuaid on Endurance Radio a while ago. She mentioned that if there is a book in finding successful in life, she would throw it away.

Consider how many books out there on self help and motivation, on finding how to be successful, I found that comment quite interesting. I did in the past have an interest on self help books. I stopped reading less of them b/c I want to test them. I want to experiment. I don't want to be academic smart but no practical skills.

The way Melanie viewed life reminded me of a talk by Jim Collins. He was talking about his book From Good to Great and applying it on a personal level. His analogy of life is like painting. We can paint an average picture if there is instructions to stroke where and use what kind of color. Or we can throw away the instructions and create a master piece....

Hmmm...looking back at all the great achievements in the world. Bach. Picasso. Shakespeare. These are people who decided to follow their own ways. Like snowboarding. The best place to crave is on fresh powder.

Looking now and looking back, there are times when it felt more comfortable going back to the crowd. It is tempting. But the temptation is only an illusion. It can only offer so much. Soon I would be staring out and wonder what it might be if I taken the less travelled path (or create my own path).

---

Yesterday was my last swim class. The coach started to put everything together. He video taped each and one of us. I felt like I was swimming like before. Only after he recorded me then I started to apply what I learn from the drills. My coach told me my head is sticking too much and my hand is not digging deep. Kicking had been greatly improved :). I need to pull from the elbow and not from my hand.

Not too bad....I knew the drills that I need to do. I can also feel when I am not making a smooth stroke.

13 comments:

Steven said...

Nice post, Cliff. And I agree about most self-help books...they only document what worked for that person. I would rather figure out what works for me and then do it.

Al Carter said...

I hate self-improvement books they make you feel so inadequate!!!

Anyway - well done on the swim - you've a great base to work on from now on it. Swimming is hard - it's harder than running or biking.

'Zilla said...

Nice post. I also can't stand self help books - Just do it! :)

Great job with the swimming! Wow, that sounds great. I feel like I focus on my form with each and every stroke. I hope pretty soon it becomes second nature.

William said...

If it's a self help book then it's not self help.

8-)

Hilda said...

I've never liked those books but they should be not that bad since they are for sale everywhere.
Interesting point of view a new one.
Thanks for your visit.

robtherunner said...

I am actually a fan of self help books since my mother has been giving them to me since I was a teenager. She didn't always know how to get through to me and so she gave me books. I always appreciated them and applied bits and pieces to my progression through life. However, I think it is important to learn from your own life most importantly.

Susan said...

I agree with Rob the Runner - learning from your own life lessons is the biggest lesson of all. Nice post Cliff.

bunnygirl said...

All self-help books ever did for me was keep me reading when I should've been doing. Once I quit reading about life and just went out and lived it, things got better.

As for Mozart and Picasso and their ilk, don't be deceived. They trained rigorously in their youth in all the classic basics of their art. Only when the basics became second nature were they in a position to let their creativity flow.

Great achievement requires a firm foundation. Even eagles need a solid place to leap from.

In other words, keep doin' those swim drills! :-)

Ellie said...

Yeah, trail-blazers... that's what we are. Each of us works on our own masterpiece.

Comm's said...

I don't read self help but I do read books on business and management and leadership. I read Good To Great and thought it was a great book. It was different in that it is impirical instead of the autobiographical pap that only uses negatives to reinforce success instead of reality and success. If that makes sense.

Most self help books copy from each other and even then its almost straight from the Bible, the best self help book out there.

I could care less about the ABS diet, blood type diet, Dr. Phil/Oprah/Springer self help crap stuff out ther.

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