Friday Review: Progress


How do you measure progress in your life or the world around you? Here are a few progress-related posts you may have missed.


“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”




“Perfection is the grand lie.”





“If the wind will not serve, take the oars.”




“We do not appreciate inertia’s power over us.”

“We do not appreciate inertia’s power over us.”

—Marshall Goldsmith, American leadership coach and author

Image from Unsplash by The Creative Exchange

Inertia is the tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged. With the social distancing, stay-at-home guidelines and other efforts to fight COVID-19, our world and our lives slowed down considerably.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Consider your vocational efforts, eating habits, sleep schedule, and level of exercise as places to look. Where in these and other important areas of life have you progressed, stayed about the same, or let the power of inertia have its way with you?


Where and in what ways can and will you break free of this force so that you can soar even higher and farther?

Progress is a nice word

“Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator, and change has its enemies.”

—Robert F. Kennedy, 64th Attorney General of the United States of America

Immunity to Change book cover

Image from Amazon

Change or die.

What if you were given that choice?

For real.

What if it weren’t just rhetoric that confuses corporate performance, or life success in general, with life or death?

What if your physician said you had to make tough changes to the way you think and act, or your time would end soon?

Could you change?

The scientific studies in Alan Deutschman’s 2005 Fast Company article puts the odds at nine-to-one. That’s nine-to-one against you.

Progress involves leaving where you are to go to a better place ahead. It is a nice word, and does not appear to have much drama. It does, however, still involve change, and there are forces/enemies that slow it down or stop it on many occasions.


Consider checking out the Fast Company article, or look into the book Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Kaskow Lahey for greater insights into this fascinating topic.

Take The Oars

“If the wind will not serve, take the oars.”

—Latin Proverb

Image of oars

Image from Flickr by Sarah Brabazon

Have you ever been sailing, wind surfing, flown a kite, or even played golf on a breezy day?

What was it like in terms of your progress and level of success when the wind was at your back?

It’s pretty great when we get an assist to help us on our journey!

All to often, however, life doesn’t provide the winds that serve us, and in some cases, the headwinds of life come directly at us to thwart our efforts.


Where and on what personal or professional issue is it time to “take the oars” and do the difficult and challenging work that will get you where you wish to go?

The Grand Lie

“Perfection is the grand lie.”

-Brendon Burchard, American Motivational Author

Image from Flickr by ewitch

Image from Flickr by ewitch

Virtually everyone I meet who is exploring a coaching relationship wants to change their lives for the better.

Many experience a fair amount of upsets in their worlds, due to unfulfilled expectations of themselves, and others.

The “Grand Lie” of perfectionism is often a significant culprit for feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness.

An alternate approach – which I have found effective and freeing – is to replace perfectionism with the pursuit of progress, so that when the day is done, what you get done is what you get done.


Where is the Grand Lie of Perfectionism preventing you from the fulfilling and satisfying life you desire? Where would the pursuit of excellence and ongoing progress serve you far better?

#111: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

– Mark Twain, author

This quote reminds me of the one about climbing the ladders of life: we must be sure that the ladder is leaning against the correct wall.

As true as this may be, we must also be vigilant, placing one foot in front of the other to progress to our goals.

In my many years of coaching, I have seen some people continually set the same goals and objectives, putting in only modest effort and making minimal progress. In our rapidly moving world, an individual or organization that makes little or no progress often gets left behind by their competition.

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.


What booster rockets, high-test fuel and massive action would it take for you to reach your goals faster and amaze yourself?

#101: “Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or nation.”

– Oscar Wilde, writer and poet

This quote seems a bit contrary to the idea of being happy with who you are and what you have, and living in the present. It does, however, point to a significant driving force for most of us – namely, the desire for growth and progress.


Where in your professional and personal life do you experience dissatisfaction or discontent? Which of these areas can be influenced and improved through your efforts?

Select one or two of these and make the needed changes to realize the progress you desire.

Find a coach or an accountability partner to help increase your chances of success.

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#60: “Do what you know is right, do the best you can, and let the loose ends drag.”

– Steve Strickler (attributed)

Life is a journey. It’s a game of progress, not perfection. When we live a life true to our nature and give it our all, perhaps we just need to let the chips fall where they may.

If we let go of the loose ends of life – the small stuff, the minor parts – then we can travel lighter.


Where do you sweat the small stuff, or major in the minors?

How can you simply let the loose ends drag?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.

#59: “Progress is impossible without change…”

“…and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

– George Bernard Shaw

I heard once that the reason many of us resist change is because we are afraid of losing something. It may be the fear of losing the familiar (better the devil you know), fear of losing control, or simply the fear of losing a relationship we have come to know.

But what if we look at the flip side: the opportunities, the things we have to gain? Perhaps if we not only acknowledge that change is constant, but fully embrace it, even intentionally cause it, we can live fuller and more satisfying lives.


Where are you resisting change and maintaining a closed mind?

How can you develop a more open perspective to welcoming change in your world?

Quotes are posted on The Quotable Coach a week after being sent out by email. To get the latest quotes straight to your inbox, pop your details in the sidebar to the right.