How to Succeed at Anything
"You're in the bottom 5%" said my guidance counselor.
At first, my 17 year old mind didn't understand. Did she mean top 5%? Was the bottom 5% somehow good because so few people belonged in it? My mind was working hard trying to put this statement in a good light.
"You have a 1.6 GPA, which means 95% of students are doing better than you" she explained.
Ah okay, so it is a bad thing.
My failures didn't end with high school. I struggled immensely to be successful at anything. I was fat, helpless, and my life was out of control.
So how is it that now, 9 years later I'm in the driver's seat, enjoying a great life in the top 3% of my field? Did I improve by 2000% in 9 years? Am I 20 times smarter than before?
Absolutely not! What gives?
The Winning Edge
What happened is something I later would learn is called The Winning Edge. This describes the phenomenon that small changes in actions translate to big changes in results. Here's how Brian Tracy explains it:
If a race horse comes in first, even by a nose, it wins 10 times the prize money of the horse that comes in second. Does this mean that the horse that wins by a nose is 10 times faster than the one that comes in second? Of course not.
Is the horse that wins twice as fast? 50% faster? Or even 10% faster? The horse that wins is only a nose faster, but that translates into 10 times the money.
By doing just a tiny bit more or a tiny bit better, you too can reap great rewards. You can lose a staggering 25lbs of fat in 1 year only by reducing your daily calorie intake by 250 calories.
How can you apply the winning edge in your life?
This means that you can go from the bottom 5% to the top 5% by getting a little bit better any of the things that give you your Winning Edge.
Here are the main areas of my life where I applied this concept and succeeded.
If you don't do any exercise right now, then start by walking just 5 minutes every day. The effort required is minute, but this will exploit the Winning Edge phenomena to get you on the path to exponential results.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal, and drink another one while you eat.
- Add a vegetable to every meal.
Sleeping better has been the biggest factor in giving me great energy and motivation all through the day.
- Install f.lux
- Read a book or listen to an audio book 5 minutes before bed.
Personal and Professional Success
Write down any problem you have at the top of a blank page as a question phrased in the form "What are 10 ways I can...?".
Example: You want to lose weight. Therefore, you write:
"What are 10 ways I can lose weight?"
Spend 10 minutes or more coming up with 10 answers.
Pick one answer, and start working on it right away.
If you're anywhere near my shoes when I started this journey, then seeing how far you have to go might feel overwhelming. As we learned though, getting massive results doesn't require massive effort.
All you have to do is make incremental improvements in key areas, and watch the results stack up. Find the Winning Edge in all the areas in which you want to succeed, then get started with a single step at a time. We credit a large part of our client success to this concept.
Have you ever encountered the Winning Edge phenomena in your life? Have you ever made a small change that results in a huge result? Let's continue the discussion below.