You Are The 1%

“Only 1% of people that try that succeed.”

Ever hear something along those lines?

Maybe you wanted to be a basketball player or a writer, or something else.

“Most people can’t do that.”

Ever hear that one? Maybe you wanted to make Aliyah (move to Israel), maybe you wanted to drop out of college to start your business, or become religious.

We live in a world where statistics, where the number of people that succeeded at something, or lived a happy life, or anything else, are the determining factors of how we choose to live our lives.

If the majority of people make more money when they go to college, we decide that college is right for us.

If most people can’t survive as artists, we give up on our creative pursuits.

If we want to make a major life change, the people around us get nervous.

In America, in a world where Democracy is put on a pedestal, bowed down to as the ultimate form of government, the majority is king.

Statistics determine our fate.

Numbers guide our path.

If only 1% of the people that try something succeed, then what’s the point?

Might as well be a lawyer.

Might as well follow the pack.

And now, in the rough economy, in a world that is getting more harsh to the minority, the majority is stronger than ever.

Here’s the problem, though.

You and me, we aren’t a math equation.

It’s not like we’re dropped from on high and fall into the pit that’s biggest.

You and me… we’re snowflakes.  Despite what Tyler Durden told us.

Unique creations, formed by G-d who tasks us with a specific job or jobs in this world.

Given strengths no one else has.

Perspectives no one else can understand.

If all things were equal, if we were all factory copies of each other, then allowing statistics to rule our lives would make sense.

There’s a rule in marketing called, “finding your niche.”

Before we can be succesful at something, this idea tells us, we have to first find the little corner of the world that finds our company or organization fascinating. And we have to work and work in that niche.

If we try and focus on everyone, then no one cares. If we try and sell ourselves to the world, then no one will buy.

But. If we realize that our company, our brand, fits into one little corner of the world… then one day, we could have everything.

The same goes for people.

If we try and sell ourselves out the world, try and rule everything we do based on statistics, on what the majority do, on the big fat mass… we ironically become nothing. We don’t reach our potential.

Only 1% succeed at something?

Don’t worry.

Because you, my friend, are one out of 7 billion people in the world.

By embracing the fact that you are so much less than the world, you can do so much more.

And, of course, if that means being a lawyer, or going to college, or following the majority… great.

Because what matters is that you are doing what G-d called on you to do. What matters is that you have realized that you don’t exist in this world just to follow, but to lead. To create.

And if the people around you say, “That doesn’t make sense! You can’t do it! Only a few people, only 1% of the people, ever did that before! Go this way, the way we tell you to!”

You can look them in the eye and say, “No. This is my mission. This is what G-d has charged me with. Your numbers don’t distract me. I am beyond statistics.”

Because it’s true. Because you’ve found your niche, and you’re going to dig into it for all its worth.

Because you aren’t the majority. You aren’t even the minority.

You are the 1%.





4 responses to “You Are The 1%”

  1. Rav Zvi B. Hollander Avatar

    You’ve channeled Stephen Jay Gould. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, the wrote an essay on the relationships of the different parts of the bell curve to each other. He didn’t “beat” the odds for many years– he simply was part of the “narrow” section of the curve– he was the “1%”.

  2. Boruch S. Avatar
    Boruch S.

    Wow! Amazing article! I couldn’t agree more. Everyone is put in this world for a specific mission, that only they can accomplish. If someone else could do what you do, your life would be redundant. Everyone is unique, and everyone has a unique purpose. That purpose justifies your existence. It is almost your Responsibility to find out what makes you different and then to pursue it.

    1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

      Thanks so much for the beautiful comment, Baruch. Been loving reading your comments here, recently. It’s clear you put a lot of thought into them.

  3. Rivki Silver Avatar

    Beautiful. “By embracing the fact that you are so much less than the world, you can do so much more.” I love this. That ties into the feeling I had shortly after graduating college, and seeing the endless expanse of choices before me. It was paralyzing. But to focus not on all the possibilities, but on our individual strengths and abilities, is tremendously freeing. Freedom by focus. Nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *