Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unflagging Pursuit

"Whenever a Jesuit priest or a Calvinist pastor does anything of significance (for instance, making a key decision), he is expected to write down what results he anticipates. Nine months later, he then feeds back from the actual results to these anticipations. This very soon shows him what he did well and what his strengths are. It also shows him what he has to learn and what habits he has to change. Finally it shows him what he is not gifted for and cannot do well. I have followed this method myself, now for fifty years. It brings out what one's strengths are—and this is the most important thing an individual can know about himself or herself. It brings out where improvement is needed and what kind of improvement is needed. Finally, it brings out what an individual cannot do and therefore should not even try to do. To know one's strengths, to know how to improve them, and to know what one cannot do—they are the keys to continuous learning."

Drucker On Asia
Peter Drucker

And back to my favorite running buddy, George Sheehan:

"The normal life is one of continual expansion. We are forever occupied with expressing or discharging what is latent in us. We are maximizes, always trying to make whatever is potential in our personality a living reality. If there is one word for human nature, it is more."


"Human nature has not changed, we have common feelings and needs. With thought and a little guidance to elevate our consciousness, we can make use of our immediate experience. Only then will we learn, only then will we change our behavior.

"Life is a permanent boot camp. We must always be in training—and training not only in our bodies but in our minds and spirits as well." ... "What it takes to win are the virtues and values that have come down to us over the centuries. They are embodied in the athlete, the artist, the hero the saint, the sage—which is a simple description of the evolution of the common man.

"Life is not a skill sport. It does not require hand-eye coordination. It is not determined by our intelligence quotient, not dependent on a beatific vision. It is a game anyone can play and play well. ...

"Effort is the measure of a man. But it is effort concentrated on the creation and development of the ideal self. Our energies must be directed towards the shaping and making of the total personality. We must unflaggingly pursue personal excellence—arete—the goal of the Greeks."

Personal Best
George Sheehan

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