Practice: 8 Keys to Success

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“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”

–Saadi Shirazi

Saadi Shirazi in a rose garden. Saadi was a major Persian poet and literary of the medieval period.

Trial 1: “Practice makes perfect.”

  1. Do something.
  2. Observe results.
  3. Measure results.
  4. Assess results against intention.

Trial 2: “Perfect practice makes perfect.”

“Practice” is a reminder that all skills must be developed. You have to practice before you will master an idea, a concept, or a skill.

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.”

–Will Smith

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Will Smith, actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter, once described as the most powerful actor in Hollywood.

If you are fortunate, you will succeed on the first try.

If you are human, and if you are operating at the limit of your current potential, the results of your first attempts may not meet your highest aspirations. Sometimes, it will seem like you have failed miserably.

“Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.”

–Mike Ditka

Mike Ditka, former American football player, coach, and commentator.

8 Keys to Success

As you practice, do so with the following intentions. Take the following actions.

  1. Foster a generous, kind, helpful, grateful, continuous improvement mindset in all members of your team.
  2. Practice with intention to improve.
  3. Consider all first efforts a pilot, like an experiment.
  4. After early attempts and failed attempts, do a retrospective. Find what elements worked, as well as those that did not. Resolve to continue doing the things that worked, and identify what you can do next time instead of the things that didn’t work.
  5. Measure results. Don’t just guess or assume learning or mastery is occurring.
  6. Celebrate successes, no matter how small. Every little win is a step in the direction of overall success!
  7. Don’t get upset over setbacks or perceived failures. “Fail your way to success.” Have fun. Excessive stress, including pressure to learn or perform (even if it’s just perceived pressure), reduces learning effectiveness as well as resolve to continue.
  8. After retrospectives, create a new Plan, being sure to keep the things that worked, and revising the things that didn’t. Then make another attempt.

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

“Never, never, never give up.”
Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was a British politician, army officer, and writer. As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he led Britain to victory in Europe in the Second World War. Photo by Library of Congress - Library of Congress, Public Domain,
Winston Churchill was a British politician, army officer, and writer. As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he led Britain to victory in Europe in the Second World War.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

–J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling By Daniel Ogren - Flickr: 100405_EasterEggRoll_683, CC BY 2.0,
J.K. Rowling is a British novelist, philanthropist, television producer and screenwriter. Her Harry Potter book series has sold more than 500 million books, the best-selling book series in history.


  • Take action every day!
  • Continue to carry out your Plans.
    • Revise Policies, Agreements, and other PowerBoard documents as necessary.
    • Revise Plans as necessary.
  • Reach out for help immediately when you need it.
    • Coach (during group sessions)
    • Mastermind group/members (Lesson 6)
    • Friends (Lesson 6)
    • Family (Lesson 6)
    • Committed Listener (Lesson 6)

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Reading Time: 4 minutes. Hi, I’m Dylan Cornelius.

I’ve spent my career helping Fortune 500 companies build custom products and change the lives of their employees and customers.

Now I teach people everywhere how to get great results, manage change, and change their lives, with product development, continuous improvement, and agile management practices of the best businesses.

It can work for self development, life problems, your fitness plan, and chronic illness. Of course, it can even help at work.

I was the first son of a new teen mom. By the time I was 2, she was a single mom of 2, living with her parents and working a retail job as a cashier at a pharmacy. She remarried by the time I was 4.

My stepfather adopted me and my brother. He worked in construction 7 days a week to support the family.

Throughout my childhood, I learned firsthand the value of hard work. I was first in my family to do many things, and I’ve often done them the hard way: college on student loans while living on campus at UC Berkeley, an MBA while working full time. Later in life I ran a marathon, then 4 more and counting… I’ve learned multiple definitions of ‘healthy diet plan’, first as I lost 50 pounds, then again after I earned an autoimmune diagnosis.

In graduate school, I concentrated in “Management of Innovation” — after all, I worked in Silicon Valley, and I’d grown up just down the road! It was there I learned we don’t have to work so hard, (but it helps)!

We don’t have to rely on trial and error or hope, or just settle for less than we really want.

There’s a better way to get great results and change your life.

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