When I was a child, I was neglected heavily in education. To learn English was such a struggle.
For example, in first grade, I had to take the California Assessment Test (CAT) on a Scantron sheet. I thought the teacher wanted me to draw a cat using the ABCDE bubbles. In the end, I was quite proud of my drawing.
To assist my learning, I was always pulled out of mainstream classes to partake in ESL courses (English Second Language). Timid and embarrassed, I remained laconic (and not in a good way).
Fast forward 20 years, I dated Julie. To this day, I still do not know why she gave me a chance. Anyway, she realized my tribulation and helped me with my pronunciation.
Despite decades of practice, I have only solidified my errors and cemented my imprecision in speech. It took a lot of patience and labor to rectify my years of inaccuracies.
Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
Now, as a consultant, I have insight on many businesses. And many of the problems stem from the same source – poor planning.
Execution is sometimes the issue, but executing poor plans can be just as bad, or worse. There is no benefit in being efficiently ineffective or effectively inefficient.
A thousand mile journey starts with a single step.
Despite philosopher Tzu’s adage, journeying in the wrong direction takes more steps to recover than to plan from the start.
Nevertheless, slow progress is still progress. I don’t want you to feel paralyzed from fear now. Always remember that failure isn’t fatal.
What was something that you had to work hard on? If you do not mind sharing, comment below!
Trying to always practice perfectly,
P.S. When Julie was helping me, she had me pinch my tongue, contort my lips and do a whole slew of other oral exercises. When I saw The King’s Speech, I was reminded of King George VI’s endeavor.
P.P.S. Now, I’m getting the hang of it :)
Photo by Regis Chen