The First 10% – Jerry Seinfeld’s Secret To Life
This is article #51 to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.
(Photo: Mustafa Khayat)
If you can get over the first 10 minutes of going for a jog, you get locked into the runner’s headspace and you can push for an hour-long workout.
If you write just 100 words, even if it’s dross, you’ll be in a state of flow and will be able to grind out your daily 1000.
If you have one conversation with a stranger at a party, you’ll feel a buzz of adrenaline and begin to glide around the guests with ease, feeling natural as you talk to people you don’t know.
Jerry Seinfeld said that the ability to wake up and lift those first few weights every day is what separate those who were once great from those who remain great in the long-term.
Most people never become great. Others achieve great things but become complacent and slip down the hill again. They stop wanting to do the grind of pushing through that first 10% of hard work everyday.
And I don’t blame them.
That first 10% is the sour-spot of any goal.
It’s the part we dread and put off and do anything to distract ourselves from – watching TV, gorging on food, or yakking on pointless Skype conversations – we all find avoidance activities to hide from those first painful minutes of any difficult task.
People who are all talk generally find that 10% too horrific, too intimidatingly arduous to push through, and so they never even get moving in the first place.
My Goal For January
For the rest of January, I propose we make this a month of motion.
Our only goal is going to be to hit that 10% every single day.
What I’m hoping you’ll find is the same thing I do. When you just clear that first hurdle, you send yourself hurtling down the road of progress.
And progress is all you need.
Progress doesn’t feel like a lot when it’s happening, but when you add up the days and hours and minutes of progress, that’s what your achievements essentially amount to: How many progress hours did I clock up this year?
Using the first 10% TODAY
Let’s say that this month your goal is to meet more men.
Maybe you’re coming up with all these grand plans right now.
You’re thinking about how to add new activities into your lifestyle, build a better social circle, and figure out the best hotspot to go on Friday nights to find available men.
And that’s all great.
But I want to ask what you could do today to put you closer to that goal.
Maybe you’re planning to meet 10 new men over the next few weeks. Well, what if I said you had to meet at least 2 of those today? What would you need to do differently? Where would you need to be? How would you start a conversation?
I always think of this as being analogous to someone who wants to lose weight. They might go buy running shoes, write out a nutrition plan, and set goals for themselves with a detailed schedule for next month.
But what if I just said: “You need to burn off 800 calories today. Make that work.”
You’d then have to slip on your beat up trainers, run around the block, start doing press ups in your bedroom, find the nearest jungle gym and do 10 pull ups, walk an extra 2 miles around your office…suddenly you’ll have made progress. You’ll have completed your first workout.
Now you just need to overcome first 10% done again tomorrow.
That fight will come everyday. You’ll never want to do that first 10%. It will always seem grueling, unfair. Everyday the clock resets and you have the fight over again.
Just beat that first 10%.
Then beat it the next day. And the next.
In 6 months, your life will improve by 90%. Come back to this article then and tell me all about it. I’ll do the same.
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