A Non-Zero-Sum Conclusion
Welcome Players! Today we’re going to take a hard look at reality. It may be uncomfortable, but that’s the point. Strap in.
Life is not a zero-sum game. But we can use the concept for many things in life.
There are winners and losers.
There are those who are happy, and those who are not.
There are those who are in good health, and those who are not.
Although everyone has the power to change their situation, very few people actually do.
What’s the difference between someone who actively seeks out the road less travelled and someone who succumbs to complacency?
What’s the difference between someone who has the foresight to plan for the long-term and someone who optimizes for the short-term only?
What’s the difference between someone who can perform work with no direct feedback or positive result and someone who is unable to internalize the benefits of delayed gratification?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I do know that asking the questions proves a very real point:
If everyone in the world were motivated and committed to improving their life, the world and our collection of society’s would be in a much better place than it is today. Instead, our cultures are plagued with chronic disease, violence, addictions, poverty, and lack of compassion.
The truth is - while everyone is capable of improvement, few people actually do.
These are the 1%’ers.
A 1%’er is someone who has experienced the lows. Made mistakes. Lost in competition. Felt failure. Done all of these things many times.
They have felt max pain - and decided they were no longer willing to accept that as their outcome.
A 1%’er is someone who has reached the bottom and made a promise to themself that that is not where they belong.
And so, their journey begins. The journey of improvement and progress.
One in which they have to forgo comfort, pleasure, and ease.
They actively seek out challenges they are not prepared to complete. They have to consistently put themselves in situations that make them uncomfortable. They have to actively deny short-term gratification that would render them complacent. They have to constantly push themselves to improve against all the chaos in their life.
And they must do that repeatedly. Over a long period of time. All the while continuing to get punched in the face by life.
So where does a 1%’er get their drive to do this from? What makes them different from someone who cannot bring themselves to commit to the challenges that will bring them the desires they seek?
Someone who has hit rock bottom. Similar to someone who has suffered from addiction, it’s the experience of being on the edge of despair. Of walking the fine line of no-return, for some that means death, and being face-to-face with that realization that if change does not occur, there will be no more. Re: The Kevin Hines Story.
The second, not as drastic, is the same thing but occurs on a spectrum of individuality. It’s a moment, a period of time, an interaction, an action; something happens to the individual where a circuit sparks in their being that says, “I can’t continue on this path. I NEED to improve.”
In both cases, the only real driver for change is from within. While external forces can help, or try, there is no power greater than your own will. YOU must decide that you want to seek out progress.
Without the self-commitment, no amount of help, planning, support system, or interventions otherwise can help someone who does not want the improvement for themselves.
If they do - then all the resources are able to help them along the journey.
After all, it is most difficult to do.
It’s HARD to consistently place yourself in uncomfortable situations. It’s HARD to constantly push yourself to do the things that you don’t want to do, but need to. It’s HARD to step up to the plate knowing your chances of failing are higher than succeeding.
And more importantly, it’s HARD to do this enough times until you figure it out.
Now there’s lots of subtleties and nuance to this. The first being that every individual is on their own journey and their own timeline.
Some people hit this inflection point (of NEEDING to change) early in life. Some don’t hit it until very late in life. Some people don’t hit it at all.
One of the worst things you can do is look at someone else’s situation and compare it to your own. As I said before - the life experience of the individual is what makes their commitment unique, in that it must come from within.
Sure, some people can be motivated or inspired by the acts of others. But those acts don’t create the motivation for the second-hand individual. It’s moreso that the inspiration they receive is because they see the success of someone else, and can visualize their own success in a similar manner.
Muhammad Ali was as pronounced and secure in his belief of himself that he inspired a whole generation. And a country! After all, he did great things.
But no one who was inspired by him achieved greatness because of him. We are responsible and accountable only for our own actions, and to say that greatness came because of the acts of others is just not true.
Those who may have used him as inspiration used him as a token for something. For something deep inside that they believed in, and they used the success of Ali to actualize that belief. Had Muhammad not been their source of inspiration, I think it much more likely that the inspiration would have come from elsewhere instead of not come at all.
I think we should all be very forgiving of ourselves, and be cognizant of the pressure we place on ourselves.
Yes I want you to have a goal. Yes I want you to work towards that goal relentlessly and with your full effort. Yes I want you to seek to find your passion and pursue it.
But I don’t want you to do so as if your life depends on it. You may not figure out what your passion is until you’re much older.
Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Absolutely not!
You see, progress is an amazing thing because you can’t do it wrong.
If you fall in love with fishing, and get super into it and are committed to fishing for months, and then all of a sudden that passion starts to fade and you slowly do it less and less. That doesn’t mean you were “wrong”.
Far from it! You were right! But then you changed. And change is good!
Every experience in life leads us to become who we are. Both the good - and the bad.
To go back in time and remove all the “bad” will unpredictably change who we are. Without the bad we won’t understand or appreciate the good. Our perspective is skewed. The picture is not complete.
So those 6 months spent pursuing something that you loved at the time, but eventually grew tired of, that’s not wasted time. That’s an experience that has now played a part in making you who you are.
You will have learned new skills, acquired new knowledge, experienced new environments.
You will be able to relate to other people who share those experiences, and will be able to draw on those experiences to contribute in molding your perspective.
Remember the story of the farmer and his son?
There are no good things or bad things in life, only things.
Whether they are good are bad is a judgement you make on them. You don’t know the positive effect a negative experience can have on you in the future.
That’s one of the great beauties of life.
Every moment and experience truly is that special - if you allow it to be.
What does this have to do with the 1%’ers?
Well - because we ALL are 1%’ers. Some just find their stride before others.
Stan Lee didn’t publish his first comic book until he was 39. Bob Ross didn’t start painting until he was 41. Morgan Freeman was 50 when he landed his first big role. J.K. Rowling didn’t publish the first Harry Potter until she was 32, the same age as Oprah Winfrey when she began her dominant hit TV show.
Does that mean those people weren’t 1%’ers before?
Did they only become 1%’ers once they got famous?
No, and no.
What I’ve always preached, and what I truly believe, is that as with Train Like a Pro - 1% is an attitude.
It’s a belief in yourself that you not only want change, but are committed to it.
It’s about the process of improvement. About putting your head down and giving your best effort every time, through success and failure, to move closer to your goals.
The information I provide is meant to help you on your journey, when you decide to commit to it.
It’s not meant to be a guide or a panacea to shortcut your way to achievement. There are no shortcuts in life, of that I’m sure.
It’s meant to be a framework for people who need guidance can use as a resource, something to learn from, something to build upon, and more importantly, an environment that’s encouraging.
I want you to be great, in whatever way is great for you.
And so - my message to you this week team, is to believe in yourself.
You can be a 1%’er if you want to. Many of you are. Many of you will be. But all of you have the capability.
And the unfortunate reality that we return to is that some of you are not ready to make that commitment yet - and that’s OK. There’s no rush. There’s no timer ticking down on the joy of life.
But just know, you cannot achieve your goal without the commitment and belief that you ARE a 1%’er. You cannot doubt yourself, or put in minimal effort, and still reach great heights. If you do, the house of cards will come crashing down eventually.
So if you want to improve your health, or achieve a performance goal, you have to try your hardest. You cannot soft-commit and expect to be successful.
Train Like a Pro, and the information I provide, is here to be helpful once that commitment is made.
But I can’t make that choice for you. I can’t tell you how to do it. I can’t carry you across that line.
You must do it yourself.
There’s only two things you need in order to be a 1%’er.
It starts with a belief in yourself. And ends with never giving up.
What happens in between doesn’t really matter.
- Trainer 01
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