Monday, September 14, 2015

Minding the Millimeter

"Minding the millimeter" is a very important principle you must understand in many areas of life.  It's something you need to understand if you are dealing with diseases such as eye disease where your eye sight is in jeopardy (which I had experienced).  It is something you must understand if you are building a business, running a business, or fixing a sinking business.  You need to understand this principle if you are training in sports, especially professional sports.  It's also important to understand this if you are developing software or writing code.   Whatever outcome you are striving toward, you need to understand the importance of minding the millimeter.   

So, what exactly is minding the millimeter?  Minding the millimeter, to put it simply, is minding or attending to the seemingly minor things that do not seem to matter much.  However, the "minor" things add up to (or multiply into) major problems.  The other end is also true where, if you attend to the right "minor" things, they add up to the major accomplishment or outcome you are aiming for.

When people suffer from a loss (such as loss of eye sight from a disease, loss in business, loss in sports, or failure in school), often it may have been prevented if they did not neglect the millimeters, or the seemingly minor things.  (Or they could've had a better chance if they did not neglect the millimeters.)  Although neglecting the millimeter is usually not the sole cause of the problem, it is usually a contributing factor.  Again, I must reemphasize that minor things add up or multiply into major things.  Therefore, minding the millimeter is a crucial principle to put to practice in many areas of life, to prevent crises and to keep from disaster (or at least improve your chances).  

The importance of minding every millimeter is apparent in other areas such as in the sport of bike racing.  Mark Cavendish (professional cyclist and winner of many stages of major bike races such as the Tour de France and the Tour de Britain) is known to mind every small adjustment on his bike and in his training, down to the millimeter literally.  "Cavendish is well known for being completely obsessed with every detail in his preparation, paying close attention to everything from his wattage output to adjusting his saddle position a fraction of a millimeter,” as one online sports blog stated.  

Mark Cavendish is not alone as many past winners of the Tour de France also mind the millimeter adjustments.  Every millimeter and every gram on the bike counts.  Every second matters.  Athletes who perform at the highest level in other sports are also just as meticulous in the smallest adjustments.  In other sports such as running or swimming, a fraction of a second may mean the difference between a bronze medal and no medal at all.

Even one millimeter or one fraction of a second matters.  It can mean the difference between getting a medal and losing a medal.

Phil Jackson, the former basketball coach who has won ten NBA championships, taught his players this importance of not neglecting the small things.  He told them that a war is lost on a single nail of a ship.  Apparently, this was programmed into the mind of Michael Jordan (the most notable player coached by Jackson).  Michael Jordan won all six of his NBA championships under the leadership of Phil Jackson.

Even after Jordan retired from basketball and now running his own multi-million dollar company, he assures that the smallest details of the products with the Jordan brand are up to his standards.  Also, he applies this same principle of minding the millimeter to other business entities he owns.  Unbeknownst to many, Michael Jordan after retiring from basketball has now become just as successful in business as he was a basketball player.  As a matter of fact, Jordan's net worth has risen astronomically from when he had retired completely from the NBA.  While most retired professional athletes' net worth do not change much, Jordan's impressive business performance increased his net worth so much that he has become a billionaire recently.  ( He was a multimillionaire as an athlete, but became a billionaire as a business man. I do not know of any other professional athlete who became a billionnaire ten years after their retirement.)  Jordan's habit of minding the millimeter allowed him to produce intended results in basketball as well as in business.

Likewise, many of you are also great at your work in solving problems or in building something, and you understand exactly how the minor factors can synergistically add up (or multiply).  Others of you understand this for other areas in your life, and you are great with those areas of your life. 

However, those of you who understand how this principle applies to your work neglect this when it comes to another area, such as your health (or the medical problem you're dealing with) whether it is eye disease, a severe infection of an organ, or another disease.  You neglect this principle of minding the millimeter, and you erroneously think, "What does it matter?  It's only one small thing."

As a result, you suffer unnecessarily, or you lose.  For example, the eye patient who (after retinal detachment surgery) neglects one small thing such as adhering closely to the doctor's instructions of what position to lie down and for how long.  Or the patient not following the doctor's  exact instructions in how to take the post-surgery eye drops, how frequently to take them, and when to stop.  Another example would be the patient neglecting overall health and nutritional practices (like adequate intake of fruits and vegetables known to be good for overall health and health of the eyes) because he thinks such indirectly related factors or "minor" factors don't matter. 

When unexpected complications occur after the eye patient neglect a millimeter here and a millimeter there, they end up losing eyesight.  Neglecting small things may contribute to losing big.

Is it for certain that minding every significant millimeter would solve a problem or allow you to produce the desired outcome?  No, it's not a guarantee, but it significantly improves your chances if you mind the millimeter.  Nothing in life is a guarantee.  A professional athlete training for a championship is not guaranteed to win the gold medal, but it would be foolish for him to neglect the training and neglect the millimeter adjustments just because there's no guarantee.  Unfortunately, people have the foolish logic of not minding the millimeter just because there's no guarantee. 

As foolish as this is in sports, it's even more foolish to neglect this principle of minding the millimeter when it comes to dealing with your medical problem, especially when what's at stake is losing or keeping your eyesight, or when it's life or death.  

Another reason for this common fallacy (or error in thinking) is that one adjustment in itself or a small millimeter in itself does not solve the problem and therefore, why bother.  This logic is flawed.

In the cases of the professional cyclists, they mind the millimeter adjustments even though any one small adjustment by itself does not directly make an impact.  Again, all the small adjustments would add up or multiply, to make an impact indirectly or directly.

Maybe you are a computer programmer and you know that neglecting, or leaving out, a little part of the code can mean major problems, such as the whole application not working at all.  Leaving out a small part of the code in one place, neglecting another small part here, and adding a wrong part there - would all add up to disaster.  This is apparent if you are a good computer programmer or developer.  Therefore, you are mindful of any "small" part of the code.

Whatever it is you are facing or whatever it is you are building or striving for, you must mind the millimeter.  When you adjust for one millimeter here, another millimeter there, and one gram here, they will all contribute toward the outcome you want (whether it is to heal from a disease, to keep your eyesight, or to turn a profit for your business.)

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Breaking a Bad Habit or Pattern

In your life right now, is there a bad habit or a bad pattern that you are trying to break, such as stuttering, eating too much unhealthy foods, overeating in general, or any recurring behavior that is causing you misery in the long run?  Is there an addiction that you are trying to rid, such as smoking, cutting, drinking, drug addiction, or any other type of common or uncommon addictions?  

One of the first things you need to do before you break a pattern is to go back in time in your mind and remember when the pattern began. 

The following video shows a thirty-year-old man, Rechaud, who has severely stuttered speech for most of his life and how he was guided by Anthony Robbins to think back and remember the time when his speech impediment started.  The stuttering man remembered the time when he was around three years old when he watched a cartoon in the mornings where one of the characters with a speech impediment often yelled for help.  During this time of this man’s early life, his father was physically beating his mom.  As a child, he subconsciously started stuttering which presented a problem to distract his father from physically beating his mother.

Remembering this childhood memory was an important step toward stopping his lifelong pattern of severe stuttering.  As a matter of fact, this man stopped stuttering from that day forward, after remembering when the stuttering started.

Remembering and Writing Exercise

For whatever pattern or habit you are trying to break:

  1.        Think back to the very first moment (or the time period) the pattern started and the brief period AFTER the pattern started.  Even if you can’t remember a specific moment, remember the approximate time period.  How old were you?  Picture the environment you were in and the people around you.  What did you look like?  What did the people around you look like?  What was happening in your life at the time?  What were you doing?  What were people around you doing?  What or how were you feeling at the time?  Remember and describe as much as possible.
  2.         Now think back at the time period BEFORE the pattern started that may have contributed to your unintentional adaptation of this pattern (or caused you to subsconsciously adapt this pattern.)  What was happening in your life before the pattern started.  Usually, we adapt these bad patterns to get away from pain or to survive (and also probably to obtain ephemeral pleasure).
  3.         If you want me to guide you with the next steps to break your bad habit or pattern, feel free to email me at  with what you’ve written here.  Be sure to title the email “Breaking a Pattern or Habit”.

Clarification for Possible Misunderstanding
Let me be clear in case there’s any misunderstanding.  Not everyone will get results this quickly with just one step.  Some will, but not everyone will.  In other words, I am not saying that this exercise in remembering (and writing) is all you need to stop addictions or stuttering in all cases.  Not at all.  I am merely saying that this exercise is one step or one part of a whole set of strategies.  Although this stuttering man was cured with this one step, many will require additional strategies.  This is especially true with patterns like addictions.   If you are trying to break your pattern of any type of addiction, this exercise in remembering should not replace conventional medical treatment.  Instead, it should be used in addition to conventional and medically recognized treatment. 

Note for Coaches, Teachers, Advisors, and Trainers
Put attention on what you want whenever it shows up.  Notice when Rechaud said one phrase without stuttering, “Sign me up for that,” Tony stopped immediately to put both their attention on it. 

“Say that again,” requested Tony.  Tony was applying the principle of focusing on the behavior they want to grow (instead of focusing on what they don't want) .  In this case, you want the normal non-stuttering speech to grow (not the stuttered speech). 

Get your client or student to put his mind on a model he wants to become (whether it’s a metaphorical model or an actual person).  After Rechaud remembered the genesis of the problem (in his childhood) and after some strategies in releasing (that in Rechaud’s unconscious mind that had bound him in severely stuttered speech), Tony guided Rechaud to put Rechaud’s mind on the metaphorical model of person Rechaud wants to be, like the warrior “and the warrior never stutters.”

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Friday, August 29, 2014

David Neeleman, founder of Jetblue and Azul (updated)

Updated August 2014

David Neeleman who has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) struggled through school when he was young.  However, his ADHD turned out to be a gift when he directed his hyperactive creativity toward building something great for consumers while keeping costs low for them.  This allowed him to innovatively build four successful airlines.

Other Interviews and News with David Neeleman (Added on August 29, 2014)

David Neeleman talks about Azul and Embraer 

Elite Interviews David Neeleman 

David Neeleman Talks About "What Makes a Startup Soar" 

Books About David Neeleman and JetBlue

Blue Streak  by Barbara Peterson

Flying High  by James Wynbrandt

What David Neeleman Learned as a Young Missionary in Brazil

Book Recommended by David Neeleman

The Mormon Way of Doing Business  by Jeff Benedict

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

How You'll Make It

You are asking, how did it come to this?  How do I get out of this painful place?  You’re thinking, I don’t see how it’s possible.

I know this may sound cliché, but I strongly recommend that you talk to God.  Ask God for help.  What do you have to lose?  The times when I was in this place, I felt that there’s nothing left I can do and so, I talk to God.  If only people know how practical this is (and more than just a cliche.)

As you continuously talk to God, you will realize more and more of what you can do.  Then, you need to do your part.  If you don’t know what you can do, you should keep asking God for guidance and you need to keep establishing a relationship with Him.  As you establish a father-child relationship with God, start doing what you can do and God will do what you can’t do.  He will control what you can’t control.  As you go on with this, the sun will rise.

The sun is rising.

In an upcoming blog entry, I will show you something else you can do to get you to where you want to be or need to be.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Iraqi Christian Children Being Beheaded

“It’s getting worse day by day.  More children are being beheaded.  Mothers are being raped and killed.  Fathers are being hung.” said Mark Arabo, a Chaldean American leader.  He went on to say on CNN - after some Christians pay a tax (jizya) for not being Muslim, their wives and daughters were taken by the militants as their wives.

Chaldean Christians are being driven out of Iraq by ISIS. This militant group that has recently taken over major parts of Iraq told the Iraqi Christians to leave, convert to Islam, or die.  Many Chaldean Christians were beheaded including children and women.

Dr.  Sallama Al Khafaji (of the Iraq High Commission for Human Rights) told AINA about an instance when ISIS militants demanded jizya from a family, they did not have the money to pay it.  In response, three of the ISIS militants raped the daughter and mother in front of the father.  The father later committed suicide, according to a report by AINA (Assyrian International News Agency).  In addition to such cases reported, it is reasonable to assume that there are many many more cases not reported.

The ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, now calling themselves just the Islamic State) is a fundamentalist militant group that has recently taken over major parts of Iraq.  The Iraqi government along with the Kurds are so far not able to stop them.

Qaraqosh, Iraq has one of the oldest Christian communities in the world.  For over 2,000 years, Muslims and Christians lived there together (even through the dictatorship era of Saddam Hussein.)  Under the aggression of ISIS, the Christians had only a few hours to leave or be killed.  Some churches in Mosul have been destroyed.  (Some of them are among the oldest churches in the world.)

What can the world do?  The world community should follow France’s lead in offering asylum to Iraqi Christians.  People of all nations should contact their government leaders or legislators to introduce a bill to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians.  Feel free to let us know if you have other suggestions on what can be done.  For other things you can do to help the Chaldean Christians, go to

As ISIS continue to advance their offensive, other groups in Iraq are also in jeopardy including the Shiite Muslims and minority groups such as the Yazidis.  Unfortunately, ISIS’ offensive and their horrific crimes against humanity have been overshadowed by other headlines (such as the conflict between Israel and Gaza as well as the conflict in Ukraine which caused the downing of the Malaysian airline.)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

LeBron Returns to Cleveland: Life Lesson from This

Lebron James decided to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  If Cleveland is more important to him than winning another championship, that would be the right choice.  If winning another championship is more important for him, I would say that his chances of doing so in Miami are better (despite Miami’s loss this year).  The high performance battleship that is the Miami Heat will need to be rebuilt after these major parts (LeBron and possibly others) are gone.  (So, Miami will probably not win another championship any time soon.)  However, as long as Spoestra and Riley are the head engineer and captain, they can rebuild it into a ship just as good and possibly even better, in time.

Many endeavors in life are like the goal of winning a championship.  You need to build a vehicle (a high performance one) to get you there.  It will take time, hardwork, and collective effort.  It’s never only about just one star player (as good and essential as he may be).  Although they are pivotal to the success of a team, they are replaceable.  Although it may take some time to find the right stars, there are plenty of stars in the sky.  Nonetheless, it will take some time (and the right coaches and/or leaders) to get the potential stars to shine to their maximum brightness.  Kawhi Leonard, this year's MVP of the Spurs, is the perfect case and point.  This young star is shining so brightly because of all the mentors and coaches around him, in addition being on the right ship (for him and the right culture of that ship/team.)

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