When I was a young child, I wanted to learn how to play the piano.

My mother hired a teacher to teach me how to play the piano.

Once a week, I went to the piano teacher’s house, and she showed me how to play the piano.

After she showed me how to play, she asked me to do what she had taught me.

As I played the piano, I made some mistakes.

When I made the mistakes, my teacher would correct me and repeat the instruction she had given me.

Then my teacher asked me to play the piano again.

Over time, I was able to play the piano without mistakes.

At the end of the piano lesson, my piano teacher gave me homework for the following weeks.

In the beginning of my piano teacher told me to practice my scales.

Scales are a set of music exercises that teach vital skills in playing the piano.

The scales are designed to help students to develop rhythm, articulation, and speed.

Each of these skills leads to building a strong foundation for playing the piano.

Many times my teacher repeated the following phrase to me.

“Practice Makes Perfect.”

It wasn’t the first time I heard that phrases.

I’ve heard that phrase many times during my many trips around the sun.

Then I heard someone challenge the validity of the phrase Practice Makes Perfect.

Here is what the person told me.

Practice does not make perfect.

If you are practicing the wrong thing, the only thing more practice of the wrong thing does for you is make you worse at the thing you are doing.

Here is how the phrase should be rewritten.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.

By practicing correctly, the right things, I’m able to get better at the right things.

This is where a good teacher can be so valuable.

I was able to learn how to play the piano because I hired a piano teacher that knew how to play the piano.

She was able to guide me away from incorrect actions and habits to correct actions and habits.

When I first started playing the piano, the only thing I knew about the piano was there were white and black keys.

I needed someone who knew more about playing the piano to tell me what to do.

Once I had clear instruction, I was able to take the correct actions and become better at playing the piano.

As I think about this story, I came to a profound conclusion.

I was raised on lies.

I was impressionable and believed the liars who spewed the lies from their lips.

I believed the lies because they sounded like they were true.

These lies permeated my brain and set into motions that influenced how I lived my life.

The lies could have been true if a few important words had been included with the lies.

It reminds me of a story that illustrates the importance of punctuation.

Read the following two sentences and notice how one piece of punctuation changes the meaning of the sentence.

  • Let’s eat, Dad! (Dad and I are going to have a meal)
  • Let’s eat Dad! (Cannibalism)

One comma changes everything in the sentence.

In the first sentence, I’m fulfilling a basic human need.

In the second sentence, I’m committing a crime against nature.

If a small dot with a tail can transition a person from innocent to villainy, think about how the omission of a word can influence our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors actions and results.

Untold lies are being told to us every day.

Often lies are being retold by people who are unaware they are telling lies.

A person hears a lie and thinks it sounds good, so they repeat the lie.

Garbage in -> Garbage out.

People don’t examine the lie to determine if it is true.

People don’t use their brains for their designed purpose.

We were given a brain to think.

We, as human beings, are designed to think.

Our brains are biologically different in ways that allow us to process external inputs before we react.

Most other animals on the planet do not have the ability to process external inputs.

Most animals see food, and they eat it.

We, as humans, can see food and then think about whether or not we eat the food.

Thinking is hardwired into our biology.

When we fail to think, we are neglecting our greatest asset – our brain.

Here are some more lies.

More sales cure all business problems.

Here is how I would rewrite the lie.

Profitable sales will solve some business problems.

If I’m selling a product at a loss, then the only result I will achieve from selling more of that product is losing more money quicker.

If I grow sales quicker than the infrastructure my business has to handle, there is a possibility that growth can kill my business.

I have numerous stories of people that attempted to grow too quickly and were forced into bankruptcy.

Here is another lie I’ve believed that led to exhaustion and burnout.

Take Massive Action!

Here is how I would rewrite the lie.

Take the Correct Massive Action Today!

Every action will produce a result.

When I take an action that produces an undesirable result, I am receiving valuable feedback.

If I acknowledge the valuable feedback and adjust my actions based on that feedback, I will make progress.

Many times in my life, I’ve been caught up in taking massive action, and the result of the massive action has led to confusion, exhaustion, and burnout.

At those times, I’ve had to take a break to assess and evaluate the direction I’m going in my life.

The challenge I have many times is many times in my life I’m predisposed to act.

I think this is a very common disposition of most people.

So much of my life, I get caught up in habitual thinking and habitual actions.

I do and think the same things continually because they are the things I’ve been doing before.

Here’s a thought that I frequently have.

I just need to work harder.

Often I buy into this thought, and I start to work harder and longer.

Sometimes this behavior gives me my desired results.

Other times, the only result I get is working more and more hours with no improvement.

This is a clear indication that my increased work is not working.

When I recognize that I’m working more and not getting any improvement, I have to interrupt the pattern of habitual thinking and acting.

At these points, I repeat the following phrase to myself.

I need to work less.  I need to do the exact opposite.

By doing so, I take stock of myself and start down a new path.

Then I measure what I’m doing to learn if the new path is getting my desired results.

If the new path doesn’t work, I must change

I must find a new path.

Often, I find someone who has achieved what I’m looking to achieve so I can get their guidance, just like I did when I had a piano teacher.

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