Article headline image. Paul Truesdell on

Posted in  3M, 1%, 99%, Inspiration, Persistence

The 1% drives some people nuts.

It really does and that’s worth thinking about.

Why would anyone want to scream, holler, and get upset with someone in the 1%? I have no idea but I do know this, it’s the 99% that counts, not the 1%. 99%? Wait, you’re thinking I’m one of those, right? You think I am going to talk about how wonderful the majority of the population is, how everyone is created equal, and that everyone should enjoy an equal share of the fruits of the land. Well, you got ahead of yourself and you’re wrong. No, it’s not about the 1%, it has always been about the 99%. Confused. I hope so and I hope I have your attention.

Where should I go with this? Well, hopefully I have a few more minutes of your time, so let’s drop the punchline, then elaborate a bit, and finish so we can both get back to work.

99% of the time, work, life, and success involves unglamorous grunt work.

It’s not about walking 20 steps in 20 directions but 20 steps in one direction. It’s not about luck but it is also true that for some, if not for bad luck, they would have none at all, and so, don’t be so damn full of yourself. Fame and fortune is overwhelmingly due to the 99% that the 99% are unwilling to do. There is no need to be jealous, have greed or envy. Not a bit when it’s there if you want it. As the Nike slogan says: Just Do It.

It has been said by many, Thomas Edison included, that genius and success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. It has been my experience that this is 100% true, but with a twist. I believe without doubt or hesitation that 1% is also luck. Oh it might be more by a percent or two, but let’s stick with 1% and keep it simple. 1% inspiration, 98% perspiration, and 1% luck. That I can live with and that I believe.

Now let’s toss in a few zingers. Oh I could tell you a story or two. I could wine and dine your mind, but how about I just go diner-grub and get to it.

There are variants of the Thomas Edison quote about 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but the crux of it comes down to habits, routines, checklists, persistence, and patience. If you want to be in the 99% (remember, 99% sounds better and the buttercups and snowflakes will go nuts over this; I can’t help myself and I love it) start by thinking. Thinking is hard. Honest thinking is really hard. Thinking honestly and creatively is super hard. And the truth of the matter is that the 50% of the population that cannot scrape $1,000 together and are in debt up to their eyeballs and beyond, are more often than not the victims of not thinking rather than bad luck. Who in their right mind thinks they are going to get anywhere without first putting pen to paper and creating a checklist? Who thinks they can take one giant Stretch Armstrong step from Jacksonville to Los Angeles rather than a series of small steps? Who thinks the next president is going to be someone who decided within the last year or two that he or she would make a run for it? Really. You think that. Do you really think a goober like Mark Cuban, Chris Rock, or Cynthia Nixon are one day going to try to replicate what Donald Trump did? I don’t think so. Why? Because Donald Trump took decades to lay the foundation for his first run at public office, and the fact that it was the highest office that he shot for and got, was not a fluke but the result of 98%.

The 99% take the time to make their list like Santa, and they cross off items from the list, one at a time. The list is not the holy grail but rather a guide for the trial and error process that one has to go through. As I said, it’s the unglamorous grunt worth that the 99% do. Sure, you, me, and all of the 99% will struggle with the tedium, but we get over it, plow through, and continue a purposeful walk in a specific direction rather than a casual meandering loop de loop.

Okay, enough of this. Inspiration does not pay off without diligence. Inspiration requires thinking and thinking is not as easy as non-thinkers think it is. That’s cute isn’t it, not as easy as non-thinkers think; think of me chuckling which is what I am doing as I write this. Go ahead, chuckle yourself.

Simple is not as simple as simpletons think it is. It truly isn’t. Making mountains out of molehills is the bane of the whole damn world. Just get to the point and move on.

So, inspiration, perspiration, thinking, checklists, habits, routines, persistence, patience, and a bit of luck. It is what it is, and the chips will fall where they may.

But if you cup your hands together, you’ll catch a whole lot more.