What is the real world difference between 0% and .001%? They are both very low percentages but there is a subtle difference. The difference is that 0% has no chance of occurring and .001% has a very small, but still possible chance of occurring. So, what does that mean to us?
Let me first tell you a short story. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Mike Massamino speak. Mike is a former NASA astronaut who flew 2 separate space shuttle flights to repair the Hubble Space Telescope years ago. He was involved in several spacewalks that enabled the telescope to be successfully repaired and provide amazing science for years to come. Mike told a story about how he became an astronaut. He said that after he graduated college, he had applied to be an astronaut and was rejected 3 separate times. He was extremely qualified for the job but there are usually very few open spots and many, many people who wanted to be astronauts. After the 3rd rejection, he happened to be at a conference and talked with another person who had applied and was also rejected. The person he talked to had similar skills and education as Mike, and Mike felt that this individual was an even better candidate than he was. BUT, that person told Mike that he didn’t see the point in applying again because it would result in the same rejection. Effectively, that person took his odds of becoming an astronaut from .001% to 0%. Mike thought to himself that is 1 less person he is competing against and his odds just went slightly up. As you can probably guess, the 4th time was the charm and Mike went on to have a fabulous career as a NASA astronaut.
Having long odds to accomplish something and no chance to accomplish something are completely different! When you set your goals, a common reason you don’t hit them is that you stop trying. Quitting is a curse that affects many of us as it is easy to do and we often can justify it without much effort. Perseverance, however, is a quality that can help you achieve more than you could ever imagine! You don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be the most talented. But, if you never give up and keep pursuing your goals, your odds of achieving them will go up significantly.
Don’t make your odds of achieving something 0% by quitting. Unlikely as it may seem, ordinary people achieve extraordinary things just by trying.
At Kaizen Karate, we tell our students that the only way you won’t get a blackbelt with us is if you stop showing up. Don’t make your odds 0% by removing yourself from trying. One of the hidden secrets to realizing success is having the mentality that you won’t stop trying until you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s a quality you will find in all blackbelts and I promise you will be a difference maker in your life!