Pass the P’s

by | Thoughts

Pass the P’s please: Parkinson’s, Perfection, Practice, and Passion

What you think can/will hurt you, can rise up and help you.

I was not prepared for my shock when I was told that Parkinson’s was the diagnosis. Years before I had been informed that Bipolar Depression was the diagnosis. Therefore, my “traveling by detour” is two-fold. Each of us is familiar with the ups and downs of life, awkwardness, and frustration – and on occasion, deep loss. Just this morning, I heard a horrific airline crash in France. In our country, the west has been inundated with mud slides and the Northeast has been hammered with a trilogy of winter storms this year.

With every presentation that I give I refer to my Parkinson’s within the first five minutes. Once you diffuse the beast, those with whom you are communicating receive your words as a permission to “travel by detour.” Your opportunity to diffuse your beast may present itself in a variety of ways. Once you have diffused your beast, you have set the stage for leading by example. Over the years I have discovered that our audiences are so open with me because I am so open with them.

A discovery of perfection mentally, emotionally, and physically, is an illusion. Practice does not make for perfect, practice makes for better. This third element, practice, is therapeutic. As I practice my presentations and refine my approach to writing, I continue to improve.

Our fourth P – following Parkinson’s, perfection, and practice – is passion; not a passion that you find, but a passion that finds you. You are free from the burden that equals the pursuit of perfection. The issue is not your perfection – but a genuine desire to make a difference in life. It is as if you become a wounded healer. Yearning trumps earning.

As you “travel by detour,” you need to be sure that the following arrows are in your quiver. You have the capacity to diffuse the beast; you have the realization that practice does not make for perfect; but for better; you have the passion that appears as a pleasant surprise; and finally, you have the determination to differentiate between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on circumstances; joy defies circumstances.


Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.