Why do only 3% of people achieve success?
Have you ever wondered why some people achieve success and are extremely successful and happy while others are not? Scientists have calculated people’s levels of success and happiness, and the data is disappointing. If you examine any larger group of people, you’ll find that only three percent of them say they are extremely happy, rich or successful. Meanwhile, 80 percent of this group would say they are losers because they fail despite struggling to achieve. Finally, 17 percent are craftsmen who succeed in achieving results but fail to reach extraordinary outcomes in their lives. The question is “why?”
You will hear many answers to this question. One might say, “such is destiny.” Another would say that some people are natural talents. A third will notice that a person was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. However, I have quite a different answer. There is only one reason why you are not successful in a certain area of your life and do not gain as much as you should. The reason is that you do not have certain skills. If you are short of money, the reasons for this are neither macro-economic tendencies, nor your employer, nor the market size; rather, it is a lack of specific skills. You need knowledge and competence to earn money. If you feel unhappy, you are unable to induce a feeling of happiness inside yourself. If you encounter problems in your family, you need skills to develop good relationships with people.
How can you develop these skills? That is the question. Let’s look at the diagram, which shows how skills are developed in a traditional educational system.
The 7 steps one must take to achieve success
The first stair means “knowledge” we acquire at pre-school and school. Knowledge alone is not enough; you must be able to use it.
The second stair involves “understanding” how to apply knowledge. Teachers, university professors, and consultants can explain how to understand what you know.
However, knowledge and understanding are not enough; we need the third stair – “practical skills” or the ability to apply knowledge.
Then we go further to shape our habits and step on the fourth stair, “application,” which is especially difficult.
Even though you apply your skills, you will not necessarily achieve the results you are aiming for.
The fifth stair is “results.” When we finally achieve results, we begin comparing ourselves to other experts who also apply their knowledge and skills.
Then we notice a difference between two people: one is more effective than the other.
The sixth step is effectiveness. Some people are good at achieving extraordinary results with minimal effort. Such people have maximum effectiveness.
The final and seventh step is “mastership” – when a person is a high performer. Only three percent of people belong to this elite group that, it seems, magically gains income or achieves extraordinary results.
Why only a few people become high performers.
As you can see from the chart, only three percent of the population reaches the top and seventh step. Why is this so? Unfortunately, schools help with the first step only. A student gets a lot of knowledge and learns a lot of things. However, in everyday live one doesn’t really know what to do with majority of the knowledge he or she maintains. Then students go to professional schools, colleges, and universities to learn about certain profession in more detail. A person gets a specific set of knowledge to earn a salary in the future. Colleges and universities give us only general understanding; they don’t develop specific skills so a person can apply his or her knowledge. After leaving college, a person finds a job and begins to develop practical skills in real-life situations.
Unfortunately, from the third stair to the top, we are climbing alone. On this journey, most people use one method, called trial and error. They try to apply their knowledge to practical situations. Then they see the results and adjust (or fail to adjust) their actions to the best of their knowledge or they ask a friend. The problem is, this is not the most effective method and it takes a lot of time. In primary school, high school or college, nobody ever taught us how to quickly and effectively develop practical skills. For this reason, most of us fall off track and only a minority can reach the top. Some people achieve results, a few achieve effectiveness and only a few become high performers.
How long does it take to reach the top of the stairs? Studies have shown that to climb all the stairs and master a profession, the average person needs approximately 10,000 hours. This does not mean that after spending 10,000 hours developing a skillset you will be among the top three percent of performers. However, one should be able to show some good results and effectiveness in any skill if he or she really spends 10,000 hours developing it. Thus, you really face great risk, as only three percent of you will finally reach the top after 10,000 hours and exclaim, “I succeeded!”
The easier way
Is there a shorter and more effective way to reach the top? I have some good news – yes, there is such a way and we will show it to you. You’ve probably heard that saying that it’s best to learn from others’ mistakes. This is a common belief, and that’s the reason why it takes 10,000 hours for a person to climb all the stairs. By learning from mistakes, you will discover all the ways not to do something. Still, you will not master the way to do things. Studies have shown that the fastest way to achieve mastery is by modeling the top performers in the field and doing exactly what they do. There is a method for doing this in a fast and effective way; it’s called Cascades and we will talk about it in detail in the next articles. Make sure to subscribe so you do not miss my next articles, in which we will be talking more about how you can master any skill you want, not in 10,000 hours but in 100 or less. click subscribe link now to be notified when the new post is released.