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March 24, 2008




Victor Howard

Mark - I like your example, but I interepret it a little differently. If an athlete is training for the Olympics, then they 1) have passion, 2) are pursuing a goal (be the best swimmer in the world) and 3) are focused on achieving a specific objective (Gold Medal). To achieve this objective the athlete must focus on improving certain aspects of their strokes. The athlete does not simply go to the pool everyday and swim laps. They 1) develop a plan to improve their stroke (i.e. hypothesis based on the experience of a coach), 2) execute (i.e. "do") a change to their stroke, 3) study the results, and 4) take action (i.e. incorporate the stroke change or test another change). This is the natural path to incremental improvement that can lead to the Gold Medal. "Do" was part of a larger cycle to improve and ultimately win. If they just go out and swim without a purpose to improve, then they are simply "doing" and not growing or improving.

There are times in our jobs and our lives when we must simply "do" -- take care of what is in front of us and not worry about growing. But, these times should be spordic and short-lived. If we can find and relentlessly pursue our passions, then life and work will take on so much more meaning and we will find true joy in what we "do".


I think it's easy to "do" when there is a tangible payoff to "doing" or when the cost of "not doing" becomes too high. For example, if f I had a shot of winning a gold medal at some Olympic event, it would be easier to wake up early to work out and eat right, because there is a tangible and real target with a real, calendar dated milestone to shoot for.

The challenge is "doing" and vigorously pursuing those things which you have to work at making tangible to begin with.

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