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Be 100 Percent

www.befat Give 110 Percent

If you agree with quotes from famous people like former newsman Sam Donaldson, the great basketball player Larry Bird and actor Will Smith, to name a few, winners give 110 percent.

Which makes the rest of us who only give 100 percent what? Losers? Slackers?

Let’s call us “realistic achievers”– hard workers who give everything they’ve got, 100%, to their professional work, family, sport, passion, recreation, etc.

“But my observation has been, certainly in the news business, you’ve got to give 110 percent.”


Is it fair to chastise an Olympic sprint runner who finishes in second place and point to his giving only 100 percent effort as the cause? No. It’s stupid.

To win a Silver Medal or (gasp) Bronze and call the effort less than best, only diminishes the blood, sweat and tears of a highly motivated achiever. After years of body conditioning, elite level training plus personal sacrifices, I’d say anyone who’s made it to the Olympics gave every ounce of their human potential to their performance.

“You never make any of the shots you never take. 87% of the ones you do take, you’ll miss too. I make 110% of my shots.”

LARRY BIRD, Hall of Fame Basketball Player

For argument’s sake let’s call “Give 110%” just a figure of speech. You gave everything, and a little bit more, something extra. But that extra 1 percent, or 10 percent if you insist, is not measurable. It’s a fluff term.

“If you’re not willing to work hard, let someone else do it. I’d rather be with someone who does a horrible job, but gives 110% than with someone who does a good job and gives 60%.”


Consider the the story of Langston Coleman who gave 100 percent  to his dream of becoming a college football player. A tough, African-American kid from the slums of Washington, D.C., in 1963 Coleman hitchhiked to the University of Nebraska. He “walked-on” at football practice hoping to make the Husker football team. His efforts were rewarded with a scholarship and a position on the squad. Coleman went on to become one of the most legendary recruits for the Nebraska Huskers.

“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.”


Can we let this silly quote go once and for all? Anyone who demands of their team or employees to give 110 percent most likely flunked math class.

“All I ever wanted really, and continue to want out of this life, is to give 100 percent to whatever I’m doing and to be committed to whatever I’m doing and then let the results speak for themselves.”

JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE, Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist

It’s not a case of winners versus losers, World Champ versus Runner Up. Effort is what matters. Your absolute best is your 100 percent. A totally achievable, noble goal. Go and do that.


Sources: Langston Coleman
Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

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