Thursday, September 07, 2006


Last week was a monumental week. The revelation occurred as me and my "all so frustrated" counterpart Big S brainstormed over our mediocre $4.00 lunches at a job that makes chewing glass look like a good idea.
We use lunch as a time to regroup and figure out a way to achieve the riches that continue to cruelly elude us on a daily basis.

We think we have found one of the key ingredients that make successful people successful. This is such a profound thought because in all of the numerous mind numbing literature I have read about success, self improvement, leadership etc. I have never been privy to this information.

Now I’m passing it on to my readers free of charge.

Here goes:

How many people actually give 100% of themselves at anything? You can always say you tried hard, but can you really say that you gave 100%? 100% is usually used for a select group of people like Olympians, recovering addicts, and professional athletes.

We tried to dissect ourselves to try and rationalize the reason that 100% effort is not given. The only thing that we could come up with, is the fact that the pay off is not guaranteed. I also think when you have a certain level of intelligence and commonsense you might go your entire life putting forth 85% and that’s been more then enough to propel you to society’s definition of success.

If someone told you that they would give you a million dollars to run a 6 minute mile 3 months from now, your life would change immediately. If you seriously signed a contract and the money was put right under your nose, you would put down the large fries and start training. Per the agreement you are not allowed to quit your job, or spend any less time with your family, but you can do anything else to prepare for your six minute mile. Somehow you would make time to train. You would replace all your reading material with running information. You would have sweat suits in your car for a run before you got home and before work. You would replace all of your internet browsing bookmarks with running sites, messageboards and blogs. You would be fitness crazy. Only a fool wouldn’t give a 100%

This is the mind game that some worldclass athletes are brainwashed into when they are young. A perfect example of this is in the Spike Lee movie "He Got Game". It's about a basketball prodigy, Jesus Shuttlesworth (played by Ray Allen), and his relationship with his father, Jake Shuttlesworth (played by Denzel Washington). During the movie they show flashbacks of the basketball prodigy and his father. They are shown on the basketball court at night, doing running drills. Jake is running with a young Jesus telling him, "The only two people up right now are you and Michael Jordan, and what is Michael doing, training. ". Then he beginns to instill the guarantee of success in his child, " What are you gonna by your mama, What kind of house? ". So Jersus is brainwashed into thinking that if he gives 100% he would be the best basketball player in the US. There was no doubt, so that 100% is not hard to do.

Tiger Woods had this same advantage since he was a kid and continues to enjoy it. He can give 100% daily because he knows that he will win and become the best in the world. Players like Phil Mickelson, find it hard to give 100% working on their game because Tiger has already defeated them mentally. Why give 100% when you know you will never be better then Tiger. Phil can give 85% and still be one of the top players in the world. For fat Phil, that is good enough.

What does all this mean? The reason that we don't give 100% is fear of failure. Fear that we would give everything we possibly have, to reach a goal and not hit it. We would rather give 85% percent and fail, saying at least I tried, then to go hard for 100%.

This applies to me and my resistance to give 100% to my outside endeavors. What am I afraid of? I will try and concentrate on the reward rather then the failure. If I realize the reward as concrete then I should be able to go 100%.

Sounds good in theory but can I apply it? 85% has been good enough to make me moderately successful in the past. Am I all talk and no action?
Knowing this information has put the responsibility of my success on me not any outside excuses. Knowing this information has put the responsibility on his success on Big S.

If you are reading this, you know it’s true, and your success has now been placed in your hands and know one else’s. I have chosen to accept this responsibility because I need to be successful, by our definition of success. There is no other alternative for me. Rich or nothing.




Anonymous said...

I understand what your saying but I dont think its that easy, just giving one hundred percent. What about all the people giving one hundred percent in the minor and arena football leagues? There are a lot of people with mediocre-ness that try as hard as they possibly can and will never be the best. People have to have opportunity and talent to go along with the determination. Phil Mickleson could practice as much as he wanted and he will never be as good as Tiger Woods. Nobody was lifting weights until Tiger was in the pros... he changed the game. Tiger Woods has the complete package and his focused mentality is off the charts.

The Michael Jordan Lifestyle said...

I agree and disagree with you at the same time. There is no doubt that Tiger is like no other on the planet but just think Phil, is within strokes of the greatest player in the world. He is a perfect example of the give 85% and cross your fingers rule. He won majors becuase Tiger was perfecting his swing. He got lucky. If Phil wanted to give 100% he would work on what is really wrong with his game (his swing) and become a more consistant player. He isn't hungry enough to do that so he won't. Tiger is still working on things and he's the best in the world. The same thing goes for Furyk, and a host of other great players. The exception goes to Vijay, I just think he ain't got it.

Babs said...

Well in reading your theory, I took it more personally, I have to admit that I come up with every excuse as why I can't exercise today or do my homework, I've been doing ok so far, I'm not fat and I have a decent job, BUT I can be more trim and feel better about myself, but you know I never have stuck with it? why? yes fear of failure or maybe fear that I'll actually get what I want, do I want guys looking at me all time and women giving me nasty looks because I may look a little better than they do? I don't know if I want that kind of attention but at the same time I want to look HOT and SEXY, sound crazy I know...with school, I know I'm smart, I know I can do it but what is my pay off? will I really make that much more money or will I still be stuck in my admin job with school loans and a pretty piece of paper that says I have a degree. I need to get off my a$$ and keep going to the gym, not quit, so I can wear some sexy low rise jeans, a cute white tank top and my cute heels and not have to suck it need to do my homework get my degree and then look for a better job. I need to make myself think I WILL achieve my goal, I know I don't like to fail and so I stay in my comfort zone and I know I can be so much better and look so much better. I feel more motivated reading this blog and writing out what I want...I will be at the gym, um 1st thing monday morning! :-)