Why 99% commitment is hard but 100% is easy

self care sunday May 09, 2020

Would you say it’s easier to stick to a healthy diet 90% of the time or 100% of the time? What about prospecting? Do you think it’s easier to stick to your lead generation schedule 90% of the time or 100% of the time?

If you’re thinking 90% then you’d be normal. I mean, sticking to your diet 90% of the time means you have 10% for cheat days, right? And if you do 90% of your lead generation you’ll have time left over for emergencies and will still have clients, don’t ya think?

On the surface that makes absolute sense but what if I changed the question? Would you say it’s easier to stick to your principles and morals 90% of the time or 100% of the time? Hmm…a friend that’s honest with you 90% of the time? That doesn’t sound as good does it?

Now, what if I changed the percentage? Is it easier to stick to a diet 99% of the time or 100% of the time? 

We talked about this recently in the mastermind group I run and the truth is, until you’re 100% committed to something, that area of your life is much harder than it needs to be. You can commit to goals and behaviors all the way up to 99% of the time and end up suffering from a very stressful phenomenon called Decision Fatigue. 

That’s because until you make the jump from 99 to 100% - that magic 1%, you haven’t really decided anything. Everyday and in every situation you’re forcing yourself to reevaluate. Say you’re doing great with your diet all day until your friend convinces you to go to happy hour.

If you’re 99% committed you’ll have to make a choice. Should you drink and eat the tacos that will blow your diet? Someone who’s made the jump to 100% has no decision to make. That person can go to happy hour and have a great time without thinking about food and alcohol.

Or an agent who is committed to earning six figures for the first time in their career. They know they need to spend an hour each day before noon at a minimum in outgoing lead generation mode. Someone who is 99% committed has to make the decision to do so every single day and when their co-worker suggests leaving at 10:30 for a property tour that should have a really great lunch at the end, another decision must be made. But someone who’s committed 100% to a consistent prospecting schedule has no decision to make. They aren’t going.

We all know our willpower isn’t infinite. It’s runs out pretty quickly every day and forcing yourself into the back and forth struggle drains your willpower at lightening speed. That’s why it's called decision fatigue. We simply get tired of making decisions all the damn time.

So this magic 1% is what separates those who are living the life of a top producer from everyone else. To chronic low producers, 99% commitment sounds pretty great. To a top producer, it sounds stressful and ineffective. 

When I was 18 years old, I’d had people in my ear for over a year saying I’d be great at sales. Once I was 100% committed to get my license, it happened quickly. Years later, becoming a motivational speaker happened within a few months of jumping from being 99% to 100% certain I’d do so. More recently, after twenty years of talking about writing a book, I jumped to 100% commitment and wrote the first draft of 145k words in under two months.

The last 1% is the only part that matters and it’s a really big secret top producers have figured out. When life knows you’re all in, it yields to you at speeds that can blow your mind. But when life senses even a 1% gap of uncertainty, it’ll hold back and cause you frustration.

So as we all move towards our painfully slow opening of business across the country, now would be a great time to evaluate where you are operating at 99% and where you are at 100%. I’ve made two lists and will be thinking about it all week along with you. On the 100% list, I’ve added things that I’m certain I’ve decided to do. The things about which there is no uncertainty and no indecision. The 99% list has things where I still need to decide. Am I going to jump the magic 1% and do it or just drop it.

Next week, I’m going to talk about why dealing with items on the 99% list is so difficult for people but until then, drop down and leave me a comment. Are you going to write out your lists? Can you do them in your head?

Let’s go think bigger this week.

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