The 10 Percent Solution

A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting with a leading psychologist who told me something amazing. He had built his career around working with deeply troubled married couples who had been damaging their relationships for decades. He enjoyed remarkable success in getting these warring spouses to turn the corner toward health. Counseling is not my greatest gift, so his obvious skill sparked my curiosity. How did he do it?

“I just try to get 10 percent improvement,” he said. “When couples get that 10 percent improvement, they get hope. And when someone gets hope, anything is possible.”

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The Greatest Single Human Being I Have Ever Met

I walked out of his house in the hills above Hollywood, telephoned my wife, and said, “I have just met the greatest single human being I will ever meet.” His name is Louis Zamperini. At age ninety-six, he is also one of the most energetic.

Over the course of my four-hour interview, it seemed that Louie’s life story could be described with three words: it gets worse.

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