"Less Than 1% Rule"
It's safe to say that most reading this story have never heard of the "Less Than 1% Rule." It's a rule of nature that's been around forever, but more recently, completely changed the way industrial nations came into being as well as operated and thrived. If applied to your life today - it could change the results (or lack of) that you've been getting. To understand it better we'll first need to take a look back before we take a look forward. Looking back may not be too exciting but it may give us all the, "ok, yeah, I get it," wake up call that we need to ignite a fire or create a hunger inside us that could change our lives from today moving forward. Hang with me for 2 minutes and we'll quickly take a look back at how the "Less Than 1% Rule" changed the world we live in.
In the 18th and 19th century, in the United States and across the globe, major changes shook the foundations of everyday life. Those changes were in different industries such as mining, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and technology to name the biggest areas. What happened was that some of the rural communities transformed into urban industrial societies. Work that had previously been performed by immediately family members and hired help, done with improvised hand tools and farm animals, transitioned into a world of machines and mass production. It was the birth of the Industrial Revolution - and it dramatically changed the world. Instead of going into a deep history lesson we're just going to focus on the "Less Than 1% Rule."
Today we jump in a car and we're down the road - it's nothing, but transportation was a major problem in the past. Traveling overseas or over land was a monumental undertaking. Sailing or paddling were the options for crossing bodies of water. Horses, wagons, your trusty feet, and later bicycles were your "giddy up and go" on land. These means were pretty crude and uneventful by today's standards. What changed? It was the simple step of bringing water to a boil - producing steam - and applying that steam to different technologies to create new opportunities. All of this was possible through a mechanical type of engine, the "steam engine," and that my friend changed the world. The steam engine virtually changed the playing field and created unimaginable opportunities that never before existed. These steam engines were placed in boats, ships, locomotives, tractors and heavy equipment, cars, factories, and many other industrial types of applications. In the blink of an eye people were traveling across oceans by the power of steamships. Rivers and lakes were enjoyed on a relaxing afternoon aboard a steam powered boat or even a paddle-wheel river boat. Steam locomotives chugged across nations carrying people, products, and materials. Later, steam powered cars replaced the horse and buggy. Steam powered farm equipment pulled the agri-business up by its roots - literally. Steam powered heavy equipment and mining tools/equipment changed all the rules of the game. The world was changed forever. Eventually, gasoline powered engines (and others) would replace the steam engine, but by changing water to steam within a mechanical type engine - it changed lives immediately and changed the world forever. It literally was the application of the "Less Than 1% Rule" that made these changes possible. So you're asking yourself, "What's the Less Than 1% Rule?" It's small, but it's HUGE at the same time. It will hopefully change the way you apply yourself in your everyday life.
The "Less Than 1% Rule" is the rule that says water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, at 33 degrees and 211 degrees Fahrenheit, water is still water. If you apply 1 degree of ENERGY (heat) to water that is 211 degrees Fahrenheit you have steam. 1 DEGREE! That's almost nothing! I mean ... let's do the math. 212 minus 32 is 180. So 180 is truly the difference between water freezing and boiling - steam. If you turn that number into a percentage of 100, every degree of temperature is actually .55 of 1%. This is where the "LESS" than 1% Rule comes from. It's actually more like HALF of a percent. Again, if you take hot water at 211 degrees, and add 1 degree of energy/heat, you will have yourself boiling water. Steam! Remember our history lesson? Steam changed the world.
Now, let's talk about YOUR world. I'm not suggesting you apply steam to your world. I'm suggesting you apply the "Less Than 1% Rule" to your life and see what happens. Remember, it's only .55 of 1%. So when you look at yourself in the mirror, or you tell your coach, teammate, boss, or someone else that you "gave it 100%," did you really? I mean ... REALLY? Could you have squeaked out another .55 of 1%? How much more effort would it take to give that less than 1%?
We all have personal goals and dreams and for some reason it seems as if we're never quite able to reach them. It's like they're able to run a little faster than we can, or they're always just 1 step ahead of us and we can't close the gap. Some common goals most people share and want to improve on are - personal development and growth, health (physical, emotional, spiritual), quality family time and unity, relationships (personal, professional, spiritual), financial stability or beyond, formal education or life experiences, career/business development, adventure and travel, and the list keeps going. What about an athletic team or a business organization? They have much different goals. An athletic team, for example, doesn't want to just show up to compete. They want to win! And after that win again ... and again ... and again - until at the end of a season they get to compete for a championship. Take into account the business world? The ability to have the chance at 1 extra sales call, 1 more design concept, 1 simple "thank you" to a customer, 1 extra kind word to a co-worker, or 5 more minutes per day of focused work. I'm not sure if it's the lack of commitment, not having enough hours in the day, or too many responsibilities and pressing issues that hijack our attention. Whatever the case may be it seems as if we just can't break over that hump. What would happen if during every minute of every game an athlete/team applied the "Less Than 1% Rule"? Could it be the difference between finishing with a winning season versus being crowned the champion? We just never know how close we are to the next championship, promotion, raise at work, or reaching a personal goal - it may only be less than 1% away. What if we were sitting at that "211 degree spot," just 1 degree away - or less than 1% - from completely changing our world and reaching that goal or dream that we've been chasing? Wouldn't that be amazing - and life changing? By taking our "normal" energy and adding less than 1% we could achieve life at the next level. Granted, some people need to put a LOT more energy and focus into their lives than 1%. On the other hand, there may be many people who are less than 1% away but they're just not applying that extra degree needed. It's not that people don't want to apply the extra energy or time but we sometimes wonder where to actually find that time. Our clocks only have 24 hours on them and it seems as if all those minutes and hours are all spoken for - or are they? We need to dig deeper, be more creative, press on a little longer, and find that extra hunger to drive us. Let's use some real world examples to see where we can possibly find those minutes and hours.
Imagine what just 15 minutes a day could add up to, because 15 minutes is almost EXACTLY 1% of your day. You could wake up 15 minutes early, or NOT watch some commercials on television, be more efficient preparing your lunches/dinners, less surfing the internet - whatever, whenever, and however - just 15 minutes per day. In a year it adds up to 91 hours! A full time job is 40 hours per week - so 91 hours is a little more than 2 "work weeks". What could we accomplish in that extra "2 weeks?" Step this exercise up a little bit and let's say 1 hour per day. Less television or internet, shortening up our meaningless phone, text, or face-to-face conversations, tightening up the time we use to run errands or go shopping. These are just some examples whereas we could squeeze an extra hour out of our day. At the end of the year 1 hour per day adds up to 365 hours! That's 9 extra work weeks at the end of the year! Wow! Here's another angle without finding the extra time. What if we were just more focused on what we were doing WHILE we were doing it. I mean, we're already doing it anyway right? What if we just give it 1% more attention? An athlete could run 1% faster or farther. What about extra free throws, swings of the bat, running plays or routes with 1% more focus and energy, more focused and strict reps on our form or technique, or an extra rep in the gym. Study time in school or at home - more focused (aka: less distracted) or a little extra time on something we've been struggling with. The same holds true for work, hobbies, or with our personal/professional development. What about your spiritual relationship? 30 minutes of studying scripture alone or with others per day could change your whole outlook on life itself! What could an athlete (or athletic team) accomplish with that extra 1%. What about a business? What about you and I? Could we be that close to our breakthrough that 1% would get us there? Is that championship less than 1% away?
What are you going to do? Look into the mirror - into the eyes of that person staring back at you - and ask them #1, if they truly want to excel and reach their goals and dreams and #2, if they can dig a little deeper to find and apply the "Less Than 1% Rule".
Seek it, find it, and apply it. (and don't forget to share it!!!) Stay Hungry!
By Shane Fleharty - gethungrystayhungry.com