“The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch

“The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch.”

Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur and author

Image from Unsplash by Kym Ellis

What is your favorite sporting event, reality TV show, social media feed, or other activity in which you watch others doing cool things?

Notice your level of engagement in seeing others stepping out and taking risks while you observe behind a screen or sit in the stands.

We do these things because they are pleasurable and safe at the same time.

We get to experience the thrill of victory with little or no real agony of defeat.

When — across your years — did you do something remarkable that others envied?

What did it take for you to jump into the deep end and what was it like to feel the exhilaration and excitement of these activities first hand?


Where have you pulled back and stepped away from experiencing the rewards associated with taking risks?

Where can and will you jump in again to feel the rush of being back in the game?

“We often work harder in our dreams than in our life.”

“We often work harder in our dreams than in our life.”

Mark Nepo, poet, teacher, and storyteller

Image from Unsplash by Hans Reniers

Although I don’t usually remember my dreams beyond the first minute or two after waking, I often find myself day-dreaming throughout the day.

When I watch others doing great things on TV or in my personal and professional communities, I often project myself into their efforts.

This form of wishful thinking and level of achievement is purely a mental exercise, and rarely if ever shows up in actual performance.


Where do you work harder in your dreams than in your life?

Where in your world is it time to give it your all and break a sweat?

“You’re Astonishing! How dare you waste it!”

“You’re Astonishing! How dare you waste it!”

Seth Godin, American author and former dot com business executive

Image from Unsplash by Colton Sturgeon

Today’s quote made me smile and frown at the same time—I love being happily surprised and astonished by amazing people, places, and things.

Seeing what is possible become realized inspires me to continue my own pursuit of excellence.

What have you done or achieved in your life which astonished yourself and others?

How far back do you need to go to recall these memories?

What have you done more recently that raises eyebrows and has more than a few jaws drop?


Who do you know that astonishes you?

When did you last tell them about your thoughts and feelings?

How much of your potential for excellence and greatness is still in the tank?

Your secret weapon is the patient execution of what everyone knows they should be doing.

“Your secret weapon is the patient execution of what everyone knows they should be doing.”

Rich Litvin, co-author of The Prosperous Coach

Image from Unsplash by Ben White

Secret weapons are the stuff of superheroes and blockbuster movies.

Whether you are a Marvel or DC fan, watching the good guys fight the bad guys on screen or even in a comic book always grabs our attention. Yet — as far as I know — there are no superheroes with patient execution as their secret weapon.

A two-hour film is not the venue to reveal how their secret to success is longer time intervals. We want things big and bold, or we simply go home.


Where in your life could patient execution be the secret weapon you need to achieve your most important goals?

What simple actions will you take today to build the momentum to be your own superhero?

What small achievements can you celebrate today

What small achievements can you celebrate today? How?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by krakenimages

What make a good day a good day? How important is it for you to achieve something of great significance to place a gold star or even a check mark in the box for the day?

If our accomplishments need a certain critical mass each day, most of our calendars will appear a bit empty. Take a few hints from clever parenting charts, on which young children get stickers for eating their vegetables, putting away their toys, brushing their teeth, potty training, or simply for saying please and thank you.


What small achievements do you tend to overlook on a typical day?

In what ways can you acknowledge your efforts and progress today, and add a few more gold stars and happy faces to your calendar?

Thrones no matter how pretty have only room for one

“Thrones, no matter how pretty, have only room for one.”

—Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Nicholas Green

By the time this post reaches your inbox or social media feed, I have review it numerous times. My own reflection on this process points to the high percentage of these efforts directed towards one’s progress in our personal and professional communities.

Although I am all for the achievement of individual success somehow, I experience even more satisfaction and fulfillment when I’ve been a part of a group or team effort.

Consider sports as a good example. On the list below, notice the fan base of popularity of team sports.

There don’t seem to be many stadiums built for individual sporting events. We all like to be part of a winning endeavor, even if we never get on the field.

SPORT # of Fans SPORT # of Fans
Soccer/Football 4 billion Cricket 2.5 billion
Hockey 2 billion Volleyball 900 million
Basketball 825 million Baseball 500 million


Where are you engaged in an individual endeavor versus some form of group achievement?

Where is the “TEAM” concept of Together Everyone Achieves More truer for you?

What joyful thing would you do if this day was your last

What joyful thing would you do if this day was your last?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Amazon

Various studies on achievement and success have demonstrated that one’s ability to delay gratification is significantly correlated with long term achievement.

You may have heard about the famous and somewhat controversial Stanford marshmallow experiment where preschool children were given the option of one marshmallow immediately or two tasty treats if they were willing to wait around 15 minutes.

Although debated due to various suggested biases, the individuals who delayed their immediate reward turned out to be higher achievers over the long run.


Where have you possibly taken delayed gratification too far in your own life?

What joyful experiences do you already regret missing?

Where might FOMO (fear of missing out) be a good thing?

Dan Pink’s newest book The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward may offer you some joyful strategies to make the most of your days ahead.

You never conquer a mountain

“You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments. Then the wind blows your footprints away.”

—Arlene Blum, American mountaineer, writer, and environmental health scientist

Image from Unsplash by Charlotte Karlsen

What personal and professional mountains have you climbed? How did you feel standing on their summits? How long did you remain at the top before returning to base camp? How long did you retain the sense of accomplishment before the inevitable let down from these peak experiences?

Over the past two years, I’ve noticed many people — including myself — experiencing a loss of excitement and vitality in their days. We seem to be climbing fewer mountains and many are seeing their paths blocked by various obstacles. The winds of change can often be in our faces and have blown many of our former footprints away.


Where is it time to strap on your boots to make some new footprints on the future mountains you seek to climb?

How will you fully embrace the journey and standing on the summit as you set forth on your next expedition?

Friday Review: Achievements


How do you define “achievement”? Here are a few Achievement-related posts you may have missed.


“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra.”





“Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”





“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”




“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.”

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.”

—Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State

Go back in time and take a look at your report cards from your days at school. How were your grades, what were your favorite subjects? Where did you intentionally pursue and achieve levels of excellence?

How have things been going for you in your personal and professional worlds since those days?  What would your report card look like today, given the many roles you play in your various communities?

In what areas and in what ways have you developed the habit of pursuing excellence in matters both big and small?


What are a few areas of your life in which an adjustment of both attitude and effort would make the biggest difference and help you achieve big things?