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.
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.