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Life Is a Series of Percentage Plays … Pay Attention

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This morning I got up and made myself a cup of green tea.  I hear it’s a healthier alternative than regular tea, and the taste isn’t half bad. The US National Library of Medicine provides a report that people who drank 1-3 cups of green tea a day, could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 19%.  Black tea reduces that risk by 11%.  I choose to grab those extra couple of percentage points.

In that tea, I added a sweetener.  I’m a Truvia fan, although Stevia isn’t half bad. I chose to give up sugar and artificial sweeteners years ago for a more healthy and tooth friendly alternative. I guess I was going after a few more percentage points.

It’s kind of funny, but when you take a moment to actually list the things we try and do to remain healthy, the list is rather long. We wash our hands, avoid nicotine, get flu shots, exercise, try to eat our vegetables, watch our weight, take vitamins, and for some, that’s just scratching the surface.  For those of us who truly want to do all we can to remain healthy, we would never just pick one or two things and kid ourselves into believing we’re doing all we can. In order to keep the percentages in our favor, we need to  utilize what I like to call, “percentage plays.”

We seem quite comfortable with the notion that the smaller but significant percentage plays we accumulate and apply to our lifestyle, the greater our chances of success.  Why in the world doesn’t this translate into other things we do?

When we struggle in business, there are many things we can do to increase our chances of success.  We can update our website, actively network, improve our product knowledge, expand our prospecting techniques, attend a training seminar, and/or even read a book.  One option alone won’t significantly increase our chances of success, but combined, it could potentially become a force.

Percentage plays have a dramatic effect on the things I write about in my new book, Why People Don’t Believe You.  We can develop a communication shot clock, focus on our pitch, our pace, and our pauses, focus on our transitions, and learn what it is to truly create a character this is believable.  But it isn’t just one of these options that makes a significant impact on success ; It’s the collection of tactics that truly influence our ability to be successful.

Related: Why People WILL Believe You!

Unfortunately, our instinct is far different when we apply percentage plays to other things like our professional development or our performance skills. As a matter of fact, our instinct is to usually do one of two things:

  • We talk ourselves out of percentage plays because we don’t believe the effort is worth the reward.
  • We kid ourselves into believing that one or two percentage plays are plenty, we mentally invest in them, and we don’t consider adding more!

Both are recipes for disappointment.

Imagine hearing someone say, “Oh, I take good care of myself…. although I don’t wash my hands, avoid nicotine, get flu shots, exercise, eat my vegetables, watch my weight, or take vitamins.  I do like to drink a couple of green teas a day, however, and I always use Truvia to sweeten it!”

Life is a series of percentage plays.  I’d encourage you to remember that, just like our health, a few of these behaviors won’t make much of a statistical dent in our chances of success.  But the more of these behaviors we accumulate, the greater will be our chances of achieving our goals – whatever they might be.

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