by Sunil Bali, 13-05-12

As well as becoming the second Prime Minister of Poland, Ignacy Jan Paderwerski was one of the most accomplished pianists of his day.

After a private concert for the rich and famous, a particularly well heeled lady came up to Paderwerski and waxed lyrical about his magnificent performance. She ended her tribute by saying, "Maestro, you are a genius."

To which Paderwerksi scornfully replied, "Yes Madam, but before I was a genius, I was a clod."

Known for his down to earth nature and belief in personal responsibility, I suspect Paderwerski was implying that success had not been handed to him on a plate and that he had put in many thousands of hours of practice.

It’s easy to look at people we admire and think that they’re successful because they were "born a genius" or were "lucky".

But behind every genius there was first a clod who worked incredibly hard to be able to produce great work with seemingly effortless ease.

You may not become a professional pianist or a Prime Minister, and whatever you do in life may not seem significant to you. But if you love what you do, then it’s absolutely essential for your happiness and those around you, that you keep doing it.


The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying. Why is this important? Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set in motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose – Stephen Pressfield

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it – Buddha

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart – Rumi

If you only perform at a high level when you’re feeling your best, then you are the exact opposite of a professional and destined to remain an amateur at life and everything else – Mike Mahler


Thanks to Alastair for these…..

To your success,