Calibration and the Crafting of a Successful Life

This article is about how focusing on the details yet not losing sight of the big vision, and learning to calibrate yourself regularly, can make a difference between crafting a life of happiness, success and abundance and one that sees your at the mercy and power of outside forces.

1. The quality of someone’s character or the level of their ability. The standard reached by something.
2. The internal diameter or bore of a gun barrel.

If someone who knows you were to describe you what words would they use? How would they describe your character? If you were applying for a specialised position would the potential employers be interested in understanding your level of experience, skill and ability suitable to the position? I would think so. What will others at your funeral remember most about you? Would it be how you made them laugh, your kindness and compassion, or that you made a fortune, never had a kind word to say about others, never had it together.


Those who seem to do well in life do so not from standing still but from constantly developing themselves. Self-development has been the catch cry of the modern world. It is a constant process, which I prefer to use the term, ‘selfvolution’ or ‘self-evolution’.

Your Own Volution

Selfvolution can happen from your own volition or through evolution where external circumstances can cause you to change and grow. The word ‘volition’ comes from Medieval Latin volitio from volo, which meant ‘I wish’.

Wishing is
for wishers.
Dreams are for
Goals are for
David Cuschieri

Many wish for circumstances to be different, but wishing on its own takes the power for your decisions away from you. In essence, you lose your power. Those who wish, who dream, who set goals and take action have more chance at succeeding in life than those that just sit there and wait for external circumstances to magically make things happen.

The Prize

This I saw illustrated perfectly through the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia. The calibre of athletes was a direct result of the hard work, long hours, focus and dedication that they put into getting themselves to the games.

Each athlete has their vision, their dream. Yet they didn’t sit down and eat junk food and wish they could reach their dream. They took action. Consistent action.

Become A World-Class Athlete

Do you just want to be OK in life and career? Or do you want to go for it and make a difference? If you want to make a difference, in order to get to the prize you need to become a world-class athlete. In fact, the word ‘athelete’ come from the Greek athlon or prize.

Those who excel do so by focusing on the prize. Getting up early, putting that extra effort in daily becomes easier when we have our eyes on the prize.

What is your prize? What motivates you to get up every day and do what you do? If you don’t have that prize it may not be a surprise that you aren’t getting anywhere or where you wish you were. Your prize not need be a lofty goal, it could be something as simple as improving your relationships.

Consistent Action

So how do people succeed in whatever their heart desires? Firstly they take consistent action. They don’t do something once, make a mess of it and decide they weren’t cut out for it. No, they get up and try again…and again…and again and then more.


I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Thomas A. Edison

The only way to fail is to give up. And as they say, ‘failure is feedback’. We can only really fail when we completely stop.

The good thing about failing is that each time we get feedback. We learn something new. We learn how not to do something, as Thomas Edison found out. Had he not failed each time he wouldn’t have one day succeeded in the inventions that have transformed our culture, like the light bulb.


Each time we ‘fail’ this valuable feedback allows us to learn to try doing it a little different the next time. It is a constant experiment. Each time we are training ourselves to become world-class.

Each time we do something we learn to calibrate ourselves. Precision and accuracy are important. A slight difference can make all the difference in our growth and development.

Compound Growth

In fact it only takes a tiny fraction of change to make a big change. Compounded over a period of time and you have the magic of compound growth. Whether it is growing an investment over time or developing a skill set.

Master Of One

Those who are successful are not a jack of all trades and master of none. Those who are successful learn to be master of one. They focus their energy and attention on certain specific skill sets and this makes all the difference. Remember, it is the little differences that makes all difference in time.

Honing Pigeon

Honing your skills and knowledge in time will get you to home base. Sharpening yourself, your skills, your network, will make you ‘sharp’. A dull blade doesn’t cut. It is only when the blade is honed to a certain point that it becomes useful, valuable.

If you want to be an expert, you need cut through the excuses of why you didn’t get up in the morning, to keep sharpening the knife, and to keep your homing instincts strong by moving in the direction of your goal.


Mentors are a great way to help you reach your goals quicker and with less pain. Apprentices learn for many years under masters to master  their craft. Without mentors or masters the journey can be hit and miss with lots of extra learning.

Mentors and masters are able to calibrate you based on their past experiences and getting to see the lessons and improvements that you can make from an outsider’s perspective.

In fact, a master craftsperson, is someone who has mastered their skill or strength. Craft actually meant strength or skill. Mastering your craft means you can use the winds to sail you in the direction of your dreams.


To be successful in love, happiness, or your career, a great way is to walk in the shoes of those who have succeeded in these areas. To mould yourself in their actions. Linguists believe that the word ‘calibre’ comes from the Arabic qālibmould’, based on Greek kalapousshoemaker’s last’. Another thought is that qālib specifically referred to ‘a mould for making bullets‘.

The meaning seems to have been carried over to English, with the verb to ‘calibrate’ which first meant to measure the range of a projectile such as a bullet or shell. Constant calibration, constant measuring through ‘practice’ can help you understand just how far away or close you are from your target.

Secret To Success

Dreams aren’t what you leave behind
when morning comes.
They are the stuff that fill
your every living moment.
David Cuschieri

There isn’t any secrets to happiness, success and abundance except taking consistent action and never taking your eye off the dream. Consistent action allows you to calibrate yourself – to work out what is working and not working quicker. Working with a mentor or under a master can speed up the process, yet there is no way to become an expert or master without focused action.

Calibre of Network

You may have heard before that your ‘net worth is equal to your network’. Let me add it is the quality of your network hat is important. And I’m not just talking about business or financial success, but in all areas of your life..

We are the average of the five people we spend most time with.
Jim Rohn

Who are the five people you most spend time with? Are they lifting you up or dragging you down. If they are taking you down by degrees it may be time to find people who pull you up with them.

Hitting Your Targets

I like the analogy of a world-class shooter. They understand that the slightest degree can make the difference between winning or losing their shooting event. It is all the subtleties that can make all the difference.

They understand that a slight degree out and they will miss their target. They have honed their skills, they are focused on their target, they have learned to understand that even the direction and strength of wind can affect the bullet as it speeds through the air. They know that they need to ‘add care’ or be accurate to succeed.

How You Do One Thing

In life, no matter if it is your career or your relationships, remember to ‘add care’. Remember that everything is connected, ‘how you do one thing may be an indication how you do everything’.

In a job interview, the difference between landing a competitive position may have nothing to do with your skill set, but determined by what you may call irrelevant things – how you present yourself, how you greet the interviewer, your body language, and perceived attitude.

Subtlety is far from it. It is the point zero one percent that can make all the difference.

Degrees, Minutes, Seconds

In a circle there are 360 degrees. A degree has 60 parts called minutes, and a minute has 60 parts called seconds. The tiniest degree, minute, second can be the difference between darkness and dawn. A second or even a millisecond can make the difference of winning a race and coming second. Never underestimate the infinitesimal detail.

God is in the detail. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A coach will often replay a race to an athlete, literally ‘going through the motions’, analysing each step, each second, each millisecond to learn how next time to impart to the athlete how they can improve there performance fractionally to gain that edge that will make all the difference.

See Volution

Everything in your life is a choice. You can choose to take responsibility or you can choose allow life to take it away from you.

You can decide to give away your power or use the power of compound growth, subtle changes every day to create a life of happiness and abundance. You simply need to ‘keep your eyes on the prize’ or prizes in different aspects of your life and every day master your craft, become stronger every day.

Life Degree

Life is said to be the best university. What degree you reach isn’t determined by your intelligence, more your determination. It is how you exercise the degrees in your daily life that will determine your success. Success isn’t about big things, it is reached through the little things, the little degrees. It is about how you decide to use your time and how you pay attention to the minutes and seconds.

Calibre or Just A Cadaver

In fact, on your death bed what will be remembered the most is the calibre of person you were. Others will remember how you exercised your degrees. Whether it was degrees of kindness, thoughtfulness, humour, fairness, honesty, love. Those close to you in general will remember the little things and how you made them feel, what you achieved on a daily basis more than your big accomplishments.


In fact, no doubt, you will be celebrated for your distinguishing qualities, or character. Your character shines through in how you show up daily. Your character, is the stamp, the indelible mark you leave in the hearts and minds in all that you meet. How will you show up daily? Will you be small-minded enough to focus on the tiny, incremental differences daily and obsessively to create happiness, success and abundance in your life?

Remember to keep your eye on the prize and another one on the ball.




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