Most think they are above average.
For example, in one survey 94% of college professors claim they do above average work.
Statistically, it is impossible that 94% of any group is above average.
An educated group of college professors should understand the statistical impossibility that all of them are superior, but illusory superiority leads people to believe they are more capable than they really are.
All groups are divided into predictable ways. Most are divided according to Pareto’s principle, otherwise known at the 80–20 rule.
Pareto’s principle says that for most things, 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.
This theory has been proven over and over to be true across many applications.
For example, 20% of the richest people in the world account for 80% of all global income. This generally holds true for athletes, income, students, employees, or any measurable statistic in any group of people.
It can be said more harshly, 20% are winners, while 80% are losers.
What separates the winners from the losers?
Today, everyone has access to the same information—there are very few secrets. The blueprints for success are available for free at every library.
Most highly accomplished people have biographies that describe their path, and if you pay close attention, they all have three things in common.
- First they choose – High achievers simply choose which group they belong to. They do not wait for anyone else to anoint them with elite status, because that day will never come. They appoint themselves to the 20% group.
- They take responsibility – Winners know they are 100% responsible for their own success or failure, while losers often view themselves as victims of someone or something. The 20%ers know that by accepting responsibility for their success, or failure, they become empowered to decide their own fate.
- They think and behave like winners – It’s impossible to belong to the 20% group while hanging on to the beliefs or behaviors of the 80%. Winners model winners.
Earl Nightingale summarized these three behaviors:
“If you had no successful example to follow, in whatever endeavor you choose, you may simply look at what everyone else around you is doing and do the opposite, because—The majority is ALWAYS wrong.”
The majority is the 80%, but you get to chose to be part of the 20%.