How Getting into the 1% Club Taught Me Talent and Effort Isn’t Everything

by Trevor Huffman

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“Effort Isn’t Everything” by Massimo Sartirana on Unsplash

“From the point of view of the fixed mindset, effort is only for people with deficiencies. And when people already know they’re deficient, they have nothing to lose by trying. But if your claim to fame is not having any deficiencies — if you’re considered a genius, a talent, or a natural — then you have a lot to lose. Effort can reduce you.” — Carol Dweck***

To get to the One Percent Club, one must give more than just effort, they must live in a high state of self-awareness about what their effort should look like.

So maybe the real questions to ask are:

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“grayscale photo of man touching his face” by Alex Iby on Unsplash

1. Does your best, most consistent effort make you feel reduced?

2. Does your best, most consistent, effort make you feel vulnerable?

But that still didn’t explain why was he talking to me like that, I mean, I wasn’t born on a farm, and I wasn’t a hillbilly — I was his middle son.

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The Farm Life | by Sean Foster on Unsplash

Benjamin Barber, an imminent sociologist once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.”

Effort is just one variable in the formula for the 1% club:

Meaning, do you like eating your flavor of shit sandwich or not?**

My dad would reinforce this as a kid, “This isn’t where you grow — where things are too easy. Where you never mess up.”

These were the times I set aside for playing the game I loved and I usually hit two out of the four. Actually, three of the four was typically pretty routine for me.

In this sense, being an underdog was exactly what I needed to succeed and become part of the one percent club that made it to pro sports. After the journey was over, an epiphany hit me: being an underdog is about realizing you have deficiencies and realizing you can overcome them with obsessive, consistent, highly analyzed amounts of intense effort and feedback.

***Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessPaperback — December 26, 2007 by Carol S. Dweck

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“Do it or don’t do it.”

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