How To Separate Yourself To The Top

You and I have talked on other pages about how to Make Yourself Great by Planning Your Work on a Daily Basis, and then Working as Hard as You Can Every Day.

Each Day that you work as hard as you can, then you improve yourself and your situation by a small, almost immeasurable amount. And when you do this hard work Every Day, then those small amounts add up on top of each other until one Day several months from now, or a few years from now, You will be able to look back and be Amazed at how much You have improved and how far You have come.

Along these lines, the next concept we want to talk about is how do we Become so Excellent at what we do that we can separate ourselves above everyone else.

The answer to this includes the 80% Principle and the magic of Math.

The 80% Principle is based on my observation that everyone does 80% of things correctly and everyone does 80% of the things they need to do to be successful.

As an example of this, every football season before the first game of the season, we will see television reporters interviewing high school football players around the United States, asking the players how well the players think their team will do this year.

In every interview, the players will say they think they can win the championship this year because they have worked so hard throughout the entire off-season from last season until this season that they deserve to win the championship.

However, later on that week in their first game of the season, half of these teams who thought they were going to win the championship will lose, and half of these teams will win.

The same thing will happen the next week and the next week, until the end of the season where very often the teams whose players thought they had worked so hard that they deserved to win the Championship will end up not winning any games all season, or will end up winning just two or three games the entire season.

Therefore, the question becomes, “How did those players overestimate so much about how well their teams were going to do that season?”

And the answer is that it is human nature for each of us to think that we have worked very hard, and so we often overestimate how hard we have worked.

The same is true for people working in a business. There is a huge difference between the amount of work that some people do, compared to the lesser amount of work that other people do.

Some people will work solid for eight or ten hours without taking any breaks and without even stopping for lunch.

While other people will be far less productive because they will spend two or three hours during the work day looking at things online, sending texts and talking on the phone, taking frequent breaks to talk to work colleagues, and taking longer than necessary lunch breaks.

However, at the end of the day, at the end of the week, and at the end of the year, both of these workers will think they gave a maximum effort and worked very hard the entire time they were at work.

To think this way is natural human nature. If we do not have enough work to do to fill our day and time, then we will fill our day and time with some sort of activity. And because we have been involved in activity, then we think we have been busy.

We all have a tendency to think this way, which is why most of us do not exercise as much as we should, or eat as many healthy foods as we should, or reach as many of our goals as we should.

It is very easy to get into the habit of procrastinating and being inefficient with our time.

However, we do not realize how much we have procrastinated or been inefficient with our time because we have kept ourselves busy doing something during all the minutes of the Day.

Therefore, our incorrect thinking is that because we have filled every minute of the Day with something, then we must have been working hard.

It is true that everyone puts in some amount of hard work, but the difference between success and non-success is determined by the total amount of hard work someone put in compared to others.

In looking again at these high school football players, it is true that all of these players and all of these teams worked hard. And so what the players say in the interview about working hard is absolutely correct.

However, their statement that they worked so hard that they deserve to win the championship is saying that they deserve the championship because they worked harder than every other team did.

This is where their misconception is because they only know how hard they worked, and they do not know how hard all the other teams worked.

Which brings us back to the 80% Principle.

The 80% Principle is based on the concept that Everyone Works Hard, and Everyone does at least 80% of everything that they need to do to be successful.

These high school teams and business workers all worked hard. They all worked at least 80% of what it was possible for them to work.

But therein lies the dilemma because if everyone in the world is working to at least an 80% level, then the players on the teams that do not win any games have worked and done everything to at least an 80% level, and the workers at the businesses that had a loss and went out of business have worked and done everything to at least an 80% level.

Therefore, what this teaches us is that the difference between Success and non-success is the difference between 80% and 100%.

The difference between Success and non-success for every person, every team, and every business is all the work that you do between 80% and 100%.

At first glance we think, “How can the fairly small difference between 80% and 100% have enough within it to separate Success from non-success?”

This is where the magic of Math comes in.

To highlight this magic, let us use the example of three basketball players shooting free throws.

Let us say that the game is close and coming down to the final seconds, and which team wins is going to be decided by the three players shooting free throws, just like basketball games often are decided.

Let us say that one player has an 80% free throw percentage, one player has a 90% free throw percentage, and the third player has a 95% free throw percentage.

At first glance again, we think that all three of the players are excellent free throw shooters, and so we think they are probably all going to make their free throws.

But let’s look at the Math.

An 80% free throw shooter means that they successfully make 80 out of 100 free throw attempts. That is very good.

However, for the 90% free throw shooter to have gotten to 90%, then he or she would have had to make 80 out of his or her first 100 free throws, and then would have had to make 100 free throws in a row to total 180 made free throws out of 200 attempts, which is a 90% percentage.

Therefore, the difference between an 80% free throw shooter and a 90% free throw shooter is the 90% shooter had to do exactly what the first shooter did with 80 out of 100, and then had to make 100 in a row without missing a single shot.

And so the difference between the 80% shooter and the 90% shooter is 100 made free throws in a row. That is a huge difference, and far more of a difference than we thought there was between an 80% shooter and a 90% shooter.

This second shooter at 90% is exceptional.

Now, the 95% free throw shooter steps to the free throw line. To become a 95% free throw shooter, he or she would have had to make 80 of his or her first 100 free throw attempts, just like the first shooter, and had to then make 100 free throws in a row to equal the 90% percentage of the second shooter, and then make 200 more in a row without missing a single shot to get to 380 made free throws out of 400 attempts, which is a 95% free throw shooter.

And so the difference between the 95% free throw shooter and the 90% free throw shooter is 200 straight free throws made without missing.

And the difference between the 95% free throw shooter and the 80% free throw shooter is 300 straight free throws without missing.

That is a huge difference between them, much larger than we would have ever guessed was the difference between 80% and 95%.

Shooting at a 95% percentage is phenomenal.

Continuing this forward, if the 95% free throw shooter wanted to continue to improve and become a 97.5% shooter, then we would think that this is only a very small improvement of 2.5% and so it would not be that difficult to get from 95% to 97.5%

However, the 95% free throw shooter would have to make an additional 400 more free throws in a row without missing a single shot to go from a 95% shooter to a 97.5% shooter by making 780 made out of 800 attempts.

And so the difference between a 97.5% free throw shooter and an 80% free throw shooter is that the 97.5% shooter would have to make 80 out of the first 100, just like the 80% shooter, and would then have to make 700 free throws in a row without missing.

Therefore, the magic of Math shows us that the difference between an 80% shooter and a 97.5% shooter is 700 free throws in a row without missing a single shot.

If someone could do this, then that would be an incredible shooter.

We have used the example of a free throw shooter. But what we are really referring to is a successful worker.

An average worker or achiever will do 80 out of 100 things with their best effort. And that worker will think they have worked hard because they have kept busy.

But the great worker and achiever at 90% will do 80 out of the first 100 things as good as they can do them, and then they will relentlessly do the next 100 things in a row as good as they can do them.

The exceptional worker and achiever will relentlessly do the 100 things perfectly, and then relentlessly do 200 more things perfectly.

And the incredible worker and achiever will relentlessly do the 100 things perfectly, and then relentlessly do 200 more things perfectly, and then relentlessly do an additional 400 things perfectly.

Therefore, to be a tremendous worker and achiever, then the key is what we do after the 80% as we strive toward the 100%.

The key points that we want to take from this example are:

1) The difference between Success and non-success is the difference between doing 80% of things correctly, and doing more than 80% of things correctly. Therefore, doing 80% of things correctly is not enough to be Successful because everyone else is also doing at least 80%, even the people and teams that are not being successful.

2) To be as Successful as we can possibly be, we need to strive to Achieve a higher and higher percentage above 80% as we strive upward past the 80% toward the Legendary 100%.

3) There is a huge difference between 80% and the numbers higher than 80%, and this huge difference is what determines Success or non-success.

4) The higher you get toward the 100%, the more difficult it is to get to the next higher percentage because of the mathematics of striving for 100%. Therefore, the higher percentage you go the more work you have to do to gain each higher percentage. In other words, the free throw mathematics show that it is far harder to get from 95% to 96%, than it is to get from 80% to 81%.

5) In order to achieve higher and higher levels of performance, you have to be Relentless in Your Pursuit.

There is another important lesson for us to learn from this 80% Principle.

All of us at various times in our Lives think we are not being treated fairly when it comes to being hired for a job, or being promoted to a higher position, or being recognized for our work or achievement.

We all feel like we deserve to be hired, or promoted, or recognized because we feel like we have worked very hard.

Just like You have often felt unfairly treated, I have also felt like I have not been treated fairly hundreds of times. But that is only my own perception. An objective person might see my situation entirely different from how I saw it.

The reason we all think this way is exactly like the example of the high school football player who thinks that he and his team have outworked everyone and deserve to win the championship.

We also think this way exactly like the example of the workers who spend more time at work than they realize not being productive.

We all feel like we have worked very hard, and we all see things from our own perspectives.

I always see my college students start out their college careers thinking they will easily get the jobs they want as soon as they graduate.

However, when they begin applying for jobs during their senior years, they gradually come to the realization that getting any job, much less their favorite job, is far more difficult than they thought it was going to be because there are far more people and far more competition out in the world than they realized.

They did not appreciate until they were graduating how much competition there was out there for the jobs that they wanted.

As a result, I would spend a great deal of time working with my students to get them a job, and to get them started on their career path.

The most important lesson for us to learn from this example is that every one of us feels like we are often not being treated fairly. We all feel this way because we see the world from our own viewpoint.

However, every time you do not get what you want, and every time you do not get what you think you deserve, then instead of being discouraged and demotivated by it, you want to use this opportunity to work on yourself, to work on your own skills, and to work on increasing your own Greatness.

Your Goal is to be Relentless in Your Pursuit to climb yourself above 80% and toward 100%, because as you initiate this Relentlessness that will Develop You, Grow You, and Build You, then eventually You will have Separated Yourself So Far Above the people who are satisfied at 80% that employers will have no choice but to Hire You.

Therefore, when you are not chosen for the job like you think you deserve to be, or when you are not promoted like you think you deserve to be, or when you are not recognized like you think you deserve to

be, then you want to turn mentally, physically, and emotionally this negative feeling into a positive feeling by setting your sights on moving yourself higher above the 80% toward 100%.

Because it is this difference in relentlessness between 80% and 100% that makes all the Difference in Achieving Your Life of Success.

You Can Do It!

I Know You Can!

The World Is Waiting For You.

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