Reflecting on my childhood, I would never have thought I would be where I am today as I type. I remember sitting on my back steps on a hot summer day such as today, with the putrid smell of trash and asphalt overtaking my senses. I watched as the pigeons picked at my neighbors’ trash bins that were overrun with maggots. I remember wanting to be one of those pigeons so that I could fly away from all the despair. A pigeon, that’s all I could envision for myself.
Not to take away from these birds, in fact, we can learn a lot from pigeons. However you don’t see pigeons in the suburbs or in the neighborhoods where the biggest challenge is the turkey population or the proper maintenance of a lawn. Growing up around drugs, crime, violence, and poverty doesn’t lead you to think about being a hawk or another powerful bird. You think about being a pigeon. Do you know why? It’s simple, really. Hawks don’t fly or hunt near the projects, even though there were plenty of rats. Pigeons were all I knew. At the time, I didn’t care or think about it, I just knew that I wanted to get out. I didn’t even know what it was like to be at the top or what “out” was.
I guess that’s when I came up with the 5% Philosophy, which became my latest book, 5% More. I didn’t need to be a hawk yet, I just needed to get out day-by-day. So as I sit here in my custom-built hot tub, I realize that I needed to be a pigeon first, the best pigeon I could be, because that’s all I had known. By getting better slowly I was also to transform into a hawk.
The challenge today is that so many of us just want to start out by being a hawk. Many of us with no realistic justification feel as though we deserve to be a hawk. If I had known was a hawk was in my childhood I would have wanted to be a hawk, too. What I have learned through experience is that in order to be a hawk, you have to put in consistent, daily and progressive effort; what I like to call 5% More effort. You must be a pigeon first.
In our human society unlike the world of birds, we have the amazing ability and opportunity to morph into other forms through consistent and progressive change over time. You don’t have to remain a pigeon, but almost all of us will start as one. Don’t be afraid to be the pigeon, embrace it. Start by learning how to be the best pigeon first. Each day get better until you have transformed into a powerful hawk. Small, incremental steps, 5% steps toward a larger goal will get you there. That’s how it works in our human world. Then you too can fly high and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
When you become a hawk, you need to fully appreciate what it took to get you there and more importantly, what it will take to remain a hawk. So, embrace the pigeon first, and consistently give 5% More effort in incremental steps to become the hawk. If you want to learn more about the progression of success and how to maintain success visit my website for my new book, 5% More and connect with me on Facebook.