Dollars and Sense: Remember, its impossible to give 110 percent

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We are approaching that time of year when everyone starts to push for the &8220;strong finish.&8221; How many times have you been asked to give a 110 percent? At such times, we begin to hear and see much concerning the concept of living the balanced life; like so many wonderful things, it is easy to talk about and difficult to achieve.

The high-pressure world in which we operate is a subtle thief. Every direction in which you turn someone is asking for just a little bit extra. In an effort to be good people, we try to find a way to meet all of the requests. But, consider this basic fact; every time we attempt to find that 110 percent effort, the 10 percent comes at the expense of something else. Logically, we will then seek to repay that amount another time with its own 110 percent effort. The result is a reinforcing cycle of &8220;robbing Peter to pay Paul.&8221; Most often such a situation is marked by frustration, disappointment, regret and ultimately, sadness. How do people in the whitewater of competition find solutions to such issues?

First, each of us must come to the realization that we do not have 110 percent. A person only has 100 percent to give…That&8217;s it! No one can give more and no one should ask for or expect more.

The good news is we always have 100 percent to offer at any given moment in time. It is our choice and we control that moment completely. Reality is that some people&8217;s 100 percent yields more than others, but the fact remains constant; all have 100 percent. How much of your day is committed to that level of effort? What could be achieved if we all made conscious decisions to do just that?

John Wooden addresses this concept of success beautifully in his book, Wooden on Leadership. His philosophy concerning success and competition rings with a harmony that is so much in need today. Coach Wooden believes we should never worry about whether we are better than someone else, but never cease trying to be the best we can be.

As the pressure to close the year &8220;successfully&8221; mounts, many will feel that such a perspective just isn&8217;t practical; &8220;our situation is different.&8221; The seasons will change, deadlines will pass, new goals will be set, and many will marvel again about the dynasty that Wooden built and wonder how it was possible