Admit One: The 5% Club
Have you ever known anyone to ask for tips on how to fail?
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But there’s a reason no self-help gurus are making millions on handing out their secrets of failure. That’d be an oxymoron.
Certainly no one has written a book on the secrets to failure as far as I’m aware. Who would want to read it?
It seems most of us already know how to fail. We’re already pretty good at it, so we don’t need any advice on how to take failure to the next level. It would take someone with a confused sense of self to want to fail even more than he or she already was, or even more efficiently than what he or she was already doing.
For most of us, failure is par for the course. It’s almost a natural human tendency. It’s success that isn’t normal.
In fact, it’s estimated that for every 20 babies that are born in the Western world, only 1 of them will be deemed ‘successful’ at the age of 65 years. That’s a mere 5% of the population.
That means the absolute majority of those babies, a staggering 19 out of 20, will grow up, get an education, maybe get a job, get married, start a family, and retire 65 years later without having made a so-called ‘success’ of their life. From the statistics, you could very well make this assumption:
Life has a 5% success rate.
Which is why we tend to seek out those who are successful and ask them what their secret to success is. We want to know what they did so we can replicate it and become part of The 5% Club who are successful and thriving.
If your aim is to gain entry to The 5% Club, you will need to break old habits that aren’t serving you well and develop habits that will serve you well.
Power Habit #1: Self-Assuredness and Self-Belief
The first Power Habit builds on the principle that success comes to those who do not allow self-consciousness or past failures to get in their way.
Why? Because failure is not the end unless you allow it to be.
This habit embraces the attitude that failures are just stepping-stones to your success. Failure is not to be avoided. Rather, you must learn to accept it as an integral part of your success.
Failure is not something to keep you being stuck. Instead, you must learn that success is waiting for you to meet it halfway.
How do you accept failure? How do you keep moving forward despite failing?
By deliberately and intentionally developing the habit of unshakeable self-assuredness—the certitude that, despite any setbacks, you will be steadfast in who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.
Identity. Purpose. Conviction. These will be your power tools of success.
Power Habit #2: Courage and Confidence
The second Power Habit gives you the tools to overcome the biggest obstacle to your success—fear.
As the saying goes,
A ship in the harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.
A ship is made for sailing. Which means a ship and all its crew must eventually leave the safety of the harbour and venture forth into the unknown.
On ancient maps prior to the discovery of the new worlds, cartographers would draw fearsome dragons and sea monsters in the uncharted waters at the edge of the known world. They would caption these fearsome creatures with, “Here there be monsters!”
Of course there were no such monsters, but how did the ancient sailors know that if they didn’t go there and take a look? What monsters lurk in the unchartered waters of your life?
What monsters are keeping you moored in your safe harbour, too afraid to sail forth to your new world?
The unknown can be frightening. The unknown can fill you so full of dread and anxiety that you do not dare leave your safe harbour. But that’s not what you are made for.
Fears never go away, so that just leaves you with two choices: stay safe in your harbour, or hoist your sails and learn to navigate around those fears. What do you choose?
If you choose the first option, you won’t need to do anything other than stay where you are.
If you choose the second option, this second Power Habit will help you to navigate around your fears and progress toward success. It will help you develop the absolute confidence in your abilities to overcome any challenge that stands in your way.
It will help you to harness the courage of the ancient sailors to take action in spite of any fears that assail you, to sail toward your destiny.
Power Habit #3: Other People Thinking
The third Power Habit follows the Golden Rule of doing unto others that which you would have them do unto you.
Why? Because success flows from collaboration, not from competition.
This is the principle of ‘givers gain’, whereby the more you give unto others, the more you get back. Where the hand that sows is the hand that reaps the harvest.
Collaborative success means more people succeed, more people win, more people are happy. It is not bound by any competitive restraints and is therefore unconstrained and unlimited.
Competitive success, though, is by definition confined to only those on the winning side. It requires a winner and a loser, which limits it to the individual or the group that is deemed the victor.
The game of Monopoly is an example of competitive, and therefore limited, success. Once a player owns all the property and all the houses and all the hotels on the board, the game is over. The other players become bankrupt. They can do nothing else but leave and go and play another game. The winner sits alone with all her money and nobody left to play with. Where’s the fun in that?
But imagine if the game of Monopoly was played with a collaborative mindset, not a competitive mindset. Imagine if each player looked for win-win solutions and viewed every moment in the game as an opportunity to serve and create value for the other players. Imagine if each player’s ambition was to find out what other people needed and then helped them to fill that need.
Imagine if everyone celebrated everyone else’s success as their own success.
Power Habit #4: Planning, Preparation & Perseverance
The fourth Power Habit follows the maxim that the process is more important than the result.
Why? Because the process is the only thing that can be done in this moment and the result is still in the future: the process leads to the result.
If money is your goal, then to make money you need to invest money. If peace and love is your goal, then the way to that goal is through peace and love. If you want to have a great relationship with another person, you need to have a great relationship with yourself.
Money is the method and practice to make more money. Peace and love is the method and practice to attain peace and love. Being a wonderful friend to yourself is the method and practice to have wonderful friendships with others.
In other words,
The pathway to your success is established by whatever that success looks like and feels like to you.
The destination sets the means by which you arrive at that destination. The result determines the process by which you attain that result.
The key is commitment to the process.