Are You in the 5%? Part 1- Passion (article)

It has been said that 95% of all winning is attained by only 5% of the participants.  After having interviewed, taught or competed with hundreds of champions in the past 40 years I tend to agree with this statement.  I am often asked what makes these champions different from those in the middle of the leader board?

In this article and in several more to come I will address my observations concerning what qualifies a person to enter this elite group.  It is my belief that all but one of the attributes of the 5% can be acquired by anyone motivated to take up the challenge.  We will begin by looking at the one that might not be evenly distributed among people.  I like to call it Passion For the Process.

I can remember when Earl Woods brought his 2 year old son Tiger on the Mike Douglass TV show. Earl presented a video of Tiger hitting golf shots and he was hitting it really well.  Mike asked him,”How many hours do you make him practice?”  Then Earl said, “Make him, I can’t get him off of the course.”  Someone who has passion does not view training as something that they have to do but rather something that they get to do.

When I attended high school and college I took a rifle to school every day, shot it before going to class and then again after class.  No, I was not arrested.  I was on the school rifle team.  I was the only shooter on my team to train this way and I was the only shooter to make All-American in college for all four years.  You see, no one had to make me train.  It was something I got to do.  It was not always pleasant but it was never a burden.

There are three kinds of people; Disinterested, Interested and Passionate. What is the difference?  A Disinterested person will do something only if you make him to do it.  An Interested person will do something as long as it is pleasant, fun or easy to do.  The Passionate will do something when it is inconvenient, painful, expensive and requires sacrifice. If you have passion for something you have a great advantage over anyone that is Interested.  The Interested will quit before reaching the 5%.  The Passionate will climb through the clouds to reach the summit.  To them it is not work, it’s joy.  Is Passion a gift that only a few possess?  I do not know for sure.  What I do know is that I have never met a 5% performer that did not have it.  I prefer to believe that everyone is Passionate about things, people or tasks.  Life sometimes robs them of the opportunity to chase their Passion.  Opportunity, also common to the elite, is the subject of my next installment.  -Lanny Bassham


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