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I probably should have posted this yesterday, but I hope it inspires you today, the first working day of 2019. What work will you be in the top 5% of? Here’s some thoughts and some of my own… The top 5% In every field, extraordinary benefits go to those seen as being in the top five percent. One out of twenty. Sure, the biggest prizes go to the once-in-a-generation superstar. But that’s largely out of reach. It turns out, though, that if you’re thoughtful and diligent, the top 5% is attainable. The approach is to pick the right set to be part of. Not, “top 5% of all surgeons,” but perhaps, “top 5% of thoracic surgeons in Minnesota.” Be specific. Find your niche and fill it. That’s challenging, because once you set out to be specific, you’re on the hook. The standards are more clear. No room to waffle. Which leads to the second half of the approach: The hard work. The work of leveling up and being honest about the choices that those you seek to serve actually have. If they knew what you know, would they choose you? What would it take for you to learn enough and practice enough and invest enough to truly be one of the top 5%? That’s something you can achieve in exchange for focus and effort. To be in the top 1% takes a combination of luck and magical talent. But to be in the top 5%, one in twenty, is mostly about choices. The thing is, you’re not competing with the other 19 people, not really. You’re competing with yourself, competing in a journey to determine how much you care about making an impact. Here’s to a powerful and productive year. Make a ruckus. *** End of Seth Godin’s email… And Tanner’s thoughts going forward *** I think the real competition is in the mind. Because if Seth’s right, and I believe he is, then the competition is really between three personalities. The one who says something like: It is possible. You CAN do it! And why not you? The other one typically says something to the effect of: But it’s never been done before. What makes you think you’re good enough to do this? And you of all people, don’t deserve to be that. But there’s one more. The one listening to these personalities within. It’s this one, the listener, you, who gets the ultimate say. The final choice. Actually, you have 2 choices. Who are you listening to? And what are you going to do about it? And when you’ve gotten started, when you’ve tried, when things started happening, the next choice is this… How far are you willing to go? The best part about that delicious question is the answer’s up to you.

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