Practice makes perfect

Wolfgang Mozart and Tiger Woods are often cited as ‘geniuses of their time’. While the general public perception is that these fellows possessed some divine-spark of greatness, Geoffrey Colvin (Talent is Overrated, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008) debunks this myth and points to the ‘influence’ of other things that played a major part in their success.

Examples included the following:

Influence of father

Leopold Mozart was a famous composer and performer. Fascinated by teaching and how learning occurred.

Earl Woods was a teacher of young men and had a lifelong passion for sport. He was a confessed ‘golf addict’.


Mozart was set tasks by his father at age 3 years.

Woods was given his first metal club at age of 7 years.


Leopold always ‘corrected’ Wolfgang’s compositions before they went public.

Earl set Tiger in a high chair in the garage to watch his father hitting balls into the net.

Life-changing event

Mozart died at 35.

Began exploring other things that life had to offer.

First masterpiece

Mozart was 21 (after 18 years of training) when his first major piece of work (Piano Concerto No.9) was composed.

Woods was 19 when he made the US team in the Walker Cup. By this time, he had been practicing and playing golf for 17 years.

Paid for his efforts

Mozart rarely ever wrote a piece for which he was not being paid.

Woods set new standards in sponsorship and match payments. Became one of the world’s highest paid sports people.

Success: Inspirational quotations

Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration. -Evan Esar.

If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.

– Joseph Addison

Success is sweet: the sweeter if long delayed and attained through manifold struggles and defeats.

– A. Branson Alcott

The man who makes a success of an important venture never waits for the crowd. He strikes out for himself. It takes nerve, it takes a great lot of grit; but the man that succeeds has both. Anyone can fail. The public admires the man who has enough confidence in himself to take a chance. These chances are the main things after all. The man who tries to succeed must expect to be criticized. Nothing important was ever done but the greater number consulted previously doubted the possibility. Success is the accomplishment of that which most people think can’t be done.

– C. V. White

The great successful men of the world have used their imagination. They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.

– Robert Collier

Success doesn’t come to you; you go to it. – Marva Collins

Great performers are made, not born.

In Talent is Overrated, Geoffrey Colvin tells the story of Laszlo Polgar, a Hungarian educational psychologist, who set out to demonstrate that great performers are made, not born.
Laszlo and his wife Karla had three daughters whom they home-schooled and devoted their lives to teaching chess. The family accumulated a library of 10,000 chess books. Hours and hours each day were devoted to chess.
By age 17, Susan was in world class. When Susan was 19, Sophie 14, and Judit 12, they competed as a team in the Women’s Olympiad and scored Hungary’s first-ever victory against the Soviets. Soon after Judit became a grand master at 15, beating Bobby Fischer’s previous record.
It is interesting to note that Judit worked hardest of the three sisters, devoting considerably more time to practice. When the sisters were in their twenties, all three decided that there was more to life than chess. They got married, had kids, gave time to their families, and eased up on the unrelenting chess-focused work that had filled their lives until then.

Act on those ideas for success

According to Michael Stelzner, the #1 difference between successful people and those less successful is that successful people act on their ideas. Ideas, he says, are a dime a dozen. Without action, ideas are worthless.

The Tien Wah method

We at Plum Press have, over the years, developed a very productive business relationship with the company Tien Wah Press. One of the main contributing factors to this relationship has been Tien Wah’s practice of under- promising and over-delivering. Tien Wah has provided more than we expected and continue to err on the side of being too generous rather than being too rigid or strict. Therein lies Tien Wah’s success – as far as Plum Press is concerned.

Know thyself

Socrates’ guiding advice has many implications for experiencing an even better life. When the topic is long- lasting and meaningful ‘success’, knowing oneself is an essential requirement.


Here at Global Training Institute we offer a wide variety of qualifications as well as short courses to suit your needs. Wanting to delve deeper into management? Some of our courses include Diploma of Civil Construction ManagementCertificate IV in Project Management PracticeDiploma in Project ManagementCertificate IV in Frontline ManagementDiploma of Management – Business Management and the Advanced Diploma of Management. Some of our short course also include Business Succession Planning SkillsLeadership and Influence SkillsPersonal Productivity Skills and many more!

If you feel that this is something you’d like to know more about, please contact us on freecall 1800 998 500 or email Anne at [email protected]