“Live the 33% rule. Hang with top third people, they are dream makers. Middle
third: blow in the wind. Bottom third: suck the life out of you.” -Sue Enquist

The Thirty-Three Percent Rule

In a book I recently finished by John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach and one of the greatest leaders of all time, mentions UCLA softball coach Sue Enquist. Coach Enquist had over an 80% winning percentage during her tenure as head coach. She also coached the lady Bruins to two NCAA Titles. She, like John Wooden stressed the importance of attitude toward your craft as well as how your attitude about life will always spill over into your performance on the field.

Sue talks about how there are basically three different kinds of people and they each make up a third of the population. There are the bottom 33%, the middle 33% and the top 33%. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this, but lets dive deeper into it.

As it pertains to attitude, the Bottom 33% are at the bottom because they, for lack of a better description have a bad attitude. They are the whiners, the complainers, the blamers and the victims. They are the ones that often wonder “why me” and often assess a situation with “of course this would happen to me” or “just my luck.” The bottom 33% think that the world owes them something because they are usually selfish and look at the world with very little gratitude. The bottom 33% look for the negatives of a situation like there is a prize for it.  The bottom 33% find themselves with many more obstacles on their way to success simply because of their attitude about life.man-person-hat-fur

As it pertains to attitude, the middle 33% are neither always positive nor always negative. You never know what you’re going to get with them because their attitude changes daily depending on their circumstances. If they had a bad night’s sleep, you’ll hear about it. If they had a bad drive to work and traffic was horrible, you’ll hear about it. On the contrary, if they got a promotion or their marriage is doing great that day, you’ll hear about that as well. This middle 33% can inspire you one day and drag you down the next depending on how that particular day is going.

As it pertains to attitude, the top 33% is the third that we all want to be in even if some of us are afraid to admit it. The top 33% are the doers, the achievers, the leaders, the accomplished. The top 33% have a great attitude no matter what their circumstances are and they see obstacles and challenges not as stressful but as invigorating. They have high standards for themselves and in turn have high standards for their colleagues and friends. They are the standard for which all others are striving to emulate. The top 33% have no problem running their own race and strive to make each day their masterpiece. The top 33% know they have much more work to do and many obstacles to overcome but it excited them.

Tips for moving up into the upper third.

HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. We all have so much more to be thankful for than we give this life credit for. Start by writing down three things, daily, that you are thankful for. This triggers the brain to start looking for more positives.

JOURNAL ABOUT A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD THAT DAY. This triggers the brain to relive the moment and its almost as if it happened twice.

GET ADEQUATE SLEEP. This isn’t always easy, especially with many of the lives we live. But a sleep deprived mind always searches for more negatives than positives because it is looking for threats instead of inspiration.

HELP SOMEONE WITH SOMETHING. Every single time we help someone it increases our self esteem even when we don’t feel like it does. This reassures the brain and reinforces that our actions matter. This will break a negative pattern by helping us stop thinking about whether we are happy or not and start thinking about the happiness of someone else.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH AS MANY PEOPLE IN THE UPPER THIRD AS YOU CAN. I’m not saying avoid the lower third, but get out of your comfort zone and befriend someone you know will lift your spirits(I have lived my life this way since I was a child and I wouldn’t be where I am today without doing so.)

Let me finish by saying, there have been many successful people in this life who have been in and are still in the middle and lower 33%…I’m not saying that you are doomed until you change your attitude. I’m merely saying that if you can move up a third, you sure will enjoy the ride a lot more.

I hope this help you guys. Remember, attitude is always under your control and only YOU can decide how you react to life.

To Your Success,

Michael Chandler