Simplicity-Lit: You are part of the 1% (in the great ostrich race of life)

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Doing the Unrealistic is Easier than Doing the Realistic

“It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming. It is easier to raise $1,000,000 than it is $100,000. It’s easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s.

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

 – Timothy Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek – 2007 – Crown Publishers

I LOVE this book, because it is a combination of inspirationally unique takes on living life, and practical suggestions for making a new approach to life possible.

EVERYONE has insecurities and feels awkward sometimes. But you are better than you think, and they're not as good as you fear.

EVERYONE has insecurities and feels awkward sometimes. But you are better than you think, and they're not as good as you fear.

While I no longer worry about the 10s and the 8s in bars (after all, I married the one perfect 11), many of the examples and analogies resonate for me, especially the idea of setting big (but unexpectedly achievable) goals. I also like the point that as awkward or inferior you feel, you are better than you think, and the competition isn’t as good as you may fear. 

This may be a visual non-sequitur, but the image to the left seems to fit. Life is kind of like an ostrich race sometimes. Often you look idiotic. But no one is really doing this as gracefully as you might think, and many not nearly as “gracefully” as you are. 

Ferriss’ point also reminds me of a story about a young guy who managed to get himself elected to Congress. The first day he was standing in the House chamber awed and intimidated by the many legislative legends around him. An old bull sidled up to him at that point, slapped him on the shoulder and confided in a low voice: “Don’t worry boy. For the first six months, you’ll be wondering how you ever got here. After that, you’ll be wondering how the rest of us ever got here.”

Let me know your thoughts on this. Have a great day!

Chuck

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