The secret to developing true confidence, 7 Sages: Pittacus, and regret and clinging to the past

…Mia and I were at a dinner party the other night when a young and purportedly gifted Flamenco guitarist simply froze before us at the very beginning of his set. He offered a couple lame excuses before attempting to continue a piece, which he soon abandoned and then abruptly got up and left the room. After the confusion settled down and someone else grabbed a guitar and started in, I went into the kitchen looking for a cold IPA and saw the guy siting alone in the corner, head down and holding a beer.

He revealed he hadn’t practiced his guitar in a week and was really nervous, saying he studies hard in spurts then gets lazy. I replied, “A wise old man once told me that, if you’re hands sweat before you play, it means you’re either practicing too hard or not enough but either way, you’re doing it wrong.”

He got a little offended, to be sure; here was a promising young guitarist who, on a good day, could rival Paco DeLucia, yet had fallen apart before a group of maybe 40. No Flamenco expert myself, I am, however, quite familiar with what it takes to develop truly high-level competency in an art or craft, thus I felt qualified to continue to advise him.

The secret is to do it the same every day, same amount of time, same essential routine at the same time of day, not playing like mad for a few days then setting it aside. By doing it thusly, you will not only develop the essential discipline but you’ll know when you are and are not in rhythm, and you’ll have what you are lacking now.”

And what’s that?” he replied with suspicion.

Confidence,” I said. “Daily, systematic approach to your craft over time will yield real confidence, which is a result of knowing you know your stuff, and that confidence creates a state of tranquility in you, a peaceful calm that, the moment the first note is struck, carries you through to the last.”

You don’t think it’s because I’m naturally nervous in front of a crowd?”

No, that’s an excuse,” I said, “When you know your stuff, your hands don’t sweat and all you really hear is you and your technique. When you’re haphazard, though, you allow in all those worries and fears.”

He said nothing so I left him alone. Later, as we were leaving, he approached me and thanked me for reaching out, “The daily-everything-the-same thing you said really is what I am missing right now, thanks for saying what nobody else would.”

That, friend, is what I do: boldly say what nobody else will!


In this week’s look at the 7 Sages of Antiquity, one of my favorites, Pittacus of Mytilene, comes under review.

I love this guy, a real stud. When Athens was about to attack the city, Pittacus challenged the Athenian general, Phrynon, to one-on-one combat, winner gets the city. Pittacus dominated and was elected ruler of Mytilene for 10 years. The story goes that he had a son named Tyrrhaeus, who was brutally murdered, and when the killer was brought before Pittacus, he released the man, saying, “Pardon is better than repentance.”

Pittacus became famous for writing his laws as poetry. He also has left us some really memorable lines:

“A crime committed by a drunk person should earn double the punishment if the offender were sober.”

It is a hard thing to be a good man.”

“Forgiveness is better than revenge.”

“Don’t say before what you’re going to do, for if you fail, you’ll be laughed at.”

And my favorite, “Whatever you do, do it well.”


This week’s MiltnMia Show podcast episode is all about overcoming Fear of the Future:

Regret and clinging to the Past

This week, we look at the absurd tendency in many people who refuse to ‘go forward with your life and embrace the future’, the idea that a lot of people are not willing to let go of their past and there are some who do their best to try to recreate what once was. Mia believes, “Today is a new opportunity, but if something didn’t work in the past, it’s a lesson and an opportunity for us to learn and go forward. If it didn’t work in the past, why would it work now?” Hard-hitting and direct, so if you’re a person filled with regret, take a good listen!

Here’s the link to ITunes:!-milt-n/id796661531

If you don’t have an ITunes player, you can hear it directly on TuneIN:


And the Huge News:

The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Cheating and Betrayal is now available in paperback and all electronic forms! Hooray! At $4.99 for e-books, I’m thinkin’ great value, and Mia and I are both quite proud of what we’ve done. To take a look at the free excerpt or to order yours, go here:


My mother and brother are due soon for a nice Sunday dinner of Mia’s amazing food, so I gotta clean up and get ready. Have a nice Sunday, friends, and Go Giants!


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