Courage takes many forms, but many times it emerges in ways we do not easily recognize. Courage to stand up and speak is a form we easily identify, but to sit down and listen? It all depends on the situation, of course, and what is courageous to one person may not be courageous to another.… Continue reading Courage


Failure is inevitable. Not in all things, of course, but inevitable nonetheless. What baby has ever walked perfectly the first time, for example? As a pianist, I know first-hand how important it is to practice regularly. Not that I was ever likely to be a concert pianist, mind you, but the more I practiced, the… Continue reading Failure


I don’t know about you, but it is not uncommon for me to look back at my life and think “I could have done so much more than I have done.” But much more important than what I have done, I think is how I have done it. Maybe I am not one of those… Continue reading Attitude

Speak Up

This is very similar to the quote often attributed, probably incorrectly, to Edmund Burke (1729-1797): “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Either way, just standing back and doing nothing (or very little) is how the Nazis gained control in Germany in the 1930’s. And I can… Continue reading Speak Up


I cannot find any information about the author of this quote, but the principle is clear enough. Far too often, you can be put off by the idea of taking time to set realistic goals. But to successfully reach a goal do the following: Write it down. This has the effect of making the goal… Continue reading Goals


I have heard it said that youth is wasted on the young. I know that in my teen years (and even into my twenties) I was often described as a know-it-all. Not that I ever thought I needed to stop learning, but because the phrase “I know” passed my lips far too often. And if… Continue reading Knowledge

Being Right

There is something about being right, and wanting to be right, that feeds the ego. That attachment to being right often makes us less flexible in our attitudes. But how to do that? Try telling others that “You’re right about that.” Or maybe “I hadn’t thought of it like that before.” And even if you… Continue reading Being Right

Follow Through

The problem here, of course, is that lots of people have great ideas, insights, or flashes of inspiration. But they come at inconvenient times. It doesn’t have to be in the shower. Maybe you’re driving, exercising, or performing some mundane task which allows your mind to wander. But if you do not follow through you… Continue reading Follow Through


Such a phrase is the enemy of progress. I think this statement is an indication of the need to always think forward and look to the future, rather than to look back and try to avoid change and disruption. It raises the legitimate question of whether we do things the way we do because it’s… Continue reading Tradition

An Army of Sheep

This is an interesting one, and has seen several different forms and authors, possibly as far back as Alexander the Great. But let’s give Talleyrand the benefit of the doubt for now. Those Talleyrand served often distrusted him, and his name has become a byword for crafty, cynical diplomacy. So, is he using misdirection here?… Continue reading An Army of Sheep