Read. Apply. Repeat

“Read. Apply. Repeat.” — this was my response when someone recently asked for my top piece of advice in 5 words or less.

In the mid 90s, a journey of 20 years started for me when I happened upon a book called: “The 13 Secrets of Power Performance” by Roger Dawson.

I was, in the short term, hooked by the idea that there was this secret world of success and productivity and performance that you needed to unlock somehow.

Thankfully I had been raised from childhood to realize that life is more like running a marathon than a sprint (or perhaps more accurately like learning to walk, learning to run, learning to train, training, running short races, running half-marathons, running marathons and then running ultra-marathons and then stopping when you die).

So I was almost fooled. I need to continually guard against that idea that you “get-wise-quick”. Like ”get-rich-quick” promises, anything of that sort is really just a scheme.

Many have made successful careers out of sharing their “secrets” with the world, when all along we’d have to agree there is nothing really “new under the sun” and all the “secret” knowledge in the world is worthless without one thing:


The most potent salve in the world is useless unless you apply it where it’s needed. The best ideas and practices are useless if they remain words on the page.

If there is any real secret in achieving “power performance” it’s in being a disciplined lifelong learner and applier of truth.

To do this I read, apply, and repeat.

To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult. 
 — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

That said, I think books like “The 13 Secrets…” hold immense value for the lifelong learner and browsing through that book again this morning, I came across this list of 7 traits of power performers — which prompted this post.

Consider how these, through internalization, re-visitation and application can help you master the “secrets” of power performance:

  1. Let go of the past.
  2. Eliminate concern for the future.
  3. Develop an even disposition.
  4. Don’t be in business just to make a profit.
  5. Learn to enjoy life now.
  6. Rise above the need to have people like you.
  7. Rise above the need to impress other people.

Thank you Roger Dawson for the persuasive title that encouraged me to pick up your book and find some truth I could apply and recall.




If you liked this please click the💚 so other people will see it here on Medium.