Finding my 90%

Lately I have been thinking about my 90%. I have a lot of history with my 90%.

In  high school, I always seemed to get 89.9% on everything, knowing I can get much better.

I trained for 90% of a half marathon once, only to bail and not do the half marathon.

I can get through 90% of the school year being organized, happy and healthy, and fall apart on June 1st each year.

I will often write something and fall apart on the ending or last paragraph.

I will plan 90% of my day when teaching and leave the 10% for “tomorrow” or on my prep (when I have to clean up the last week’s 10%’s). Most times that 10% is forgotten at the student’s expense.

I will clean 90% of my living area and leave 10% behind to do later.

I will run 90% of the distance I have set out to run, only to stop and finish with 10% left.

When I dont finish right to 100% I feel a bit empty, a bit deflated, like I have left too much unattended and it weighs heavily on my brain. I think about it and regret often not finishing. Somethings I can finish, but others the moment has passed and I have no chance of changing it. I think it takes a toll on my life, and makes other things difficult to move out to the 100%. It leaves me with less control. It does not get me where I want to be.

Lately I have been trying to push through my 90%. I am attmpting to find that place where I can push through and finish things delightfully to the end and feel really good about it. I have been trying to run through, to push through feelings and thoughts and things I need to do. I try to accomplish as much as I possibly can without leaving that 10% hanging in the universe waiting to be done “tomorrow” or “later”.

Today is later, and today is the tomorrow we were waiting for. What if I leave my 10% behind and never get a chance to try again? What if I break my leg tomorrow and never get a chance to do the half marathon that I want to do? What if I never get the chance to finish what I want to finish or feel completely what I want to feel or heaven forbid, follow through with the plans that I can make to 90% and need the extra 10% completion rate?

What is your 10%? I have someone in my life that does things 30% and leaves 70% undone, I have someone in my life who gets 80% and then is unsatisfied by non-perfection and will not finish the other 20% that needs to be done. What is your number? Maybe you dont have a number. That is cool. But how much further can you go? How much more can you stretch?


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  1. * Dakota (One of your Fly Girls) says:

    So now that all is said and done, we seem to have a little extra time on our hands. My random internet searching lead me to your blog and to this reflection on numbers.
    I am a very numeric person and put a substantial amount of value into the numbers that are assigned to me. Numbers are such a huge part of our life that it would be nearly impossible for us as a society ot function without them. Money is a number, time is a number. We count the number of good experiences vs. bad and we even rank ourselves numerically. And there always seems to be that far off ideal number. Our 100%.
    However, one of the most common sayings while I was on IL was “110%”. The reality of it all is that not even 100% is good enough. We always will want to do just that little bit better. As soon as you have reached your goal of 100% you will set a new goal that you will only be able to reach 90% of. The question really is just how far can you push yourself.
    Thank you for sharing. It really made me stop and think for a moment.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago

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