January 16, 2012
The Difference Between First And Second Place
In the 2008 Olympic Games the 100 meter sprint medalists finished in the following order: Gold Medal – Usain Bolt with a time of 9.69 seconds, Silver Medal – Richard Thompson with a time of 9.89 seconds, and Bronze Medal – Walter Dix with a time of 9.91 seconds. The difference in percentage between 1st and 2nd was about 2%, and the difference between 2nd and 3rd was less than a half percent. When you get to the highest level of competition, the margins between the competitors decreases, and there are questions that we should start asking. What can I do today to get better? How am I going to do what I need to do to make up that 2%, or how can I work to keep that 2% edge? The numbers obviously may vary depending on sports, industries, or niches, but the principle remains the same. You don’t need to be twice as good at something to be successful. You just need the determination and follow through to make yourself a little better each day.
If you leave the practice room when the coach says that practice is over, are you gaining that 2%? If you leave work right at closing time, are you getting ahead of your competition? If you just ask superficial questions, are you going to have the best possible relationships with those you love and care about? Invest a few extra minutes to become the best you can in your chosen field. You owe it to yourself.