The answers to these two questions will do more than guide you;they will reveal you. Because your desire to achieve and your willingness to sacrifice for that achievement will most likely determine whether you are a 100-percenter, a 95-perecenter, or a 90-percenter. Whether you are a person who got the job done, or a person who almost got the job done.
Someone who makes things happen … or someone who lets things happen.
The difference in top achievers is often small gradations. Extra effort here, or there, or then.
Many people in this life are 90-percenters. They do a good job … but not a great job. They do 90% of the work, but not 100%.
It’s easier to be a 90-percenter. But I’m not sure it’s better.
You wouldn’t enter a 100-yard race and stop at the 90-yard mark, would you? So ask yourself why are you doing that in your work or your love or your life.
The last 10% is where it gets really hard. The pain enters a multiplicative level. You will hurt.
But that’s where they hide the great.
“Difficulty is what wakes up the genius (ingenium mala saepe movent), which translates in Brooklyn English into, ‘When life gives you a lemon …’” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder”
I know there are tons of positive-thought books and websites and social media pages. People will tell you that if you thinkgreat thoughts, then great things will happen. It’s this idea that by thinking positive thoughts, you put energy into the world that will be returned to you.
That’s only partly true.
See, there’s this other part called action — and that’s where the shit goes down. You can think good thoughts all the time, but if you don’t get off your ass and put some mojo behind your flow, then you’re not going to be any better tomorrow than you are today.
You really can’t think yourself richer or stronger or thinner or happier or more successful.And you absolutely can’t use mental power to make the Swedish Bikini Team appear in your living room. (Not that I’ve tried that. I mean, more than twice.)
Thoughts are important, definitely. Hugely important. Overwhelmingly influential in your day and your life. You must get your mind right.
But then you absolutely must put your butt in gear too.
No one is going to knock on your front door and bring you the job you want, the partner you want, the body you want, or sunshine in a box. The only thing that will be delivered to your front door is what you have bought and paid for—whether by money or effort or love. Give Amazon your money and they’ll ship you anything you desire. Give your focus and effort to running or your back squat and guess what happens? Your running or back squat improves. Give people your energy and love and they will show up for you when you need the same back from them. (Well, most of them. Some folks are losers, but they’re lessons too. Be grateful for the clouds so that you can appreciate the light.)
Remember that you absolutely must get your ass in gear too. Nothing happens by magic.
What you take on. You decide this every day of your life. Every day. Whether you want to admit it or not.
You listen, you accept, you internalize. Good and bad, but all consuming of your time in some way. Your time.
You only get so much time, you know.
And the time you give away to junk? To nothingness, to annoyances, to flipping out on something that doesn’t matter that much, that will never matter that much, but which satisfies your ever-reaching, ever-bleeding, energy-sucking, relentless egoistic need to prance and pout and revel in your own beauty as a special snowflake?
That time includes a lot of bullshit you should leave be.
Put down the mental junk and walk away.
There’s a brighter path around the corner. Drop the burdens you don’t need, and sprint towards it. Stop taking on, and watch yourself take off.