I’ve been a member of a club that I never knew existed until recently.
I learned about this club when I read Yvon Chouinard’s book, “Let My People Go Surfing.”
“I like to throw myself passionately into a sport or activity until I reach about an 80 percent proficiency level,” Chouinard says.
“To go beyond that requires an obsession that doesn’t appeal to me. Once I reach 80 percent, I like to go off and do something totally different.”
Is that allowed?
All my life, I thought I had some kind of defect.
Imagine my relief to discover that it’s just fine to be an 80-percenter.
It’s not just fine, in fact.
Eighty percenters spend most of their lives in the steep part of the learning curve, where progress comes at breakneck speeds.
Uncertainty is high, and the next step is scary and unknown.
That is where I live and where I love to be.
None of this is to take away from 100-percenters.
Remember when Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball?
Aren’t you glad he went back to basketball?
A hundred percenters inspire us.
They push the limits of human possibility.
The world needs 100-percenters.
But the world needs 80-percenters, too.
In today’s world, there is so much pushing you to just.
Stick. With. It.
Pick one thing, and do it until you die (or at least until you retire).
Editor's note: This blog was originally published a number of years ago, but we have republished it for the benefit of our many new subscribers.