According to one credible study done by a very large insurance company, the top 20% of life insurance agents make 16 times as much commissions as the bottom 80% and the top 4% of agents make 54 times as much as the bottom 80%. If you are not in the life insurance business don’t make the mistake of thinking that this only applies to life insurance and that somehow your business is different or unique. It is not.
If you spent 25 years chronicling the behavioral differences between the mediocre majority and high achieving minority as I have, the most striking distinction you would find is this: winners stick to things and don’t give up or quit, losers give up easily and flit about randomly.
Losers look for the next new shiny object, modern fantasy or magic elixir. Winners find winning strategies and stick to applying them.
Winners stay stuck like super glue to an objective, purpose and goal; acquiring the needed knowledge; ignoring criticism; refusing to take no for a permanent answer, fighting, scrapping studying, figuring out one more piece of the success puzzle and then another and another; these behaviors are behind the true stories of the rich and famous.
Sadly, the mediocre majority don’t stick too much of anything. They have little discipline and patience to stick to the behaviors that produce success. Their life’s report card is filled with “Incompletes”; books purchased but not read, audio programs purchased but not listened to, good intentions begun but not completed, projects started but never finished. Their desks and homes are littered with worthwhile projects and files still-born in procrastination and strangled in disorganization. Losers display poor discipline, are intellectually uncurious, are uninformed, have self limiting beliefs, display poor physical conditioning, and have sloppy nutritional habits.
The reasons people don’t stick to anything long enough to succeed are many and varied. Some are psychological, revealed in a book I recommend. The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz and Dan Kennedy. It and the previous edition have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Some are circumstantial; people who permit themselves and their time to be ruled by others’ priorities. Some are sinful like sloth. For many it is the desire for success without the personal responsibility that must accompany success. Whatever the losers lack of “stick-to-itiveness”, the winners refuse to be deterred or distracted from their objectives and the relentless pursuit of them.
The bottom line is that the successful achievement of exceptional goals requires two key elements: acquisition of new knowledge and information by sticking to a course of regimented study and learning even if it is uncomfortable, foreign or difficult; and being disciplined to stick to self-imposed requirements to implement what is learned no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.