Do you know how much more violent a 4.0 earthquake is compared to a 5.0 earthquake? What about a 7.0?
It may seem, simply by looking at the numbers, that a 4.0 quake would produce a similar but slightly less devastating result than a 5.0 quake. However, this isn’t anywhere near the truth.
As measured with a seismometer, an earthquake that registers 5.0 on the Richter Scale has a shaking amplitude 10 times that of an earthquake that registered 4.0, and thus corresponds to a release of energy 31.6 times that released by the lesser earthquake.
The number of earthquakes registering 2.5 – 5.4 is estimated to be 30,000 annually. Conversely, the number of 5.5 – 6.0 quakes drops to just 500 per year. That’s less than 2% of the lesser magnitude in scale.
Why is this important to my readers?
Because I see a powerful relationship between mediocrity and 30,000 quakes per year. No one really ever feels the efforts of these actions (or earthquakes), because the magnitude of the efforts are weakly measurable at best. Check out the image below to associate a visual to what I’m discussing.
I ask myself, “How many daily activities would I label as: Not felt, Minor, Small, or even Moderate in magnitude?”
Even better follow up, what are my expectations for the outcomes of these activities? I’m guessing they don’t match. Maybe the image and corresponding labels below will help better paint the picture. I love pictures and colors so this one really hits home.
The reason I chose to write about this topic and how it collides with success is because I was listening to Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. He talks passionately about cashing in on your talents and passions by getting all-in on a topic and executing fearlessly. His well-pronounced goal is to own the NY Jets. Not a small goal, and definitely one where massive action and focused energy will need to be invested over a long period of time to achieve it.
The magnitude of our outcomes (and success) is closely related to the investment we’re willing to make.
If I’m not willing to invest a great deal of effort and energy into a project, business or idea, then my results WILL BE (100%) limited to the bottom end of the magnitude scale. Many goals, multiplied by little effort, eat up massive amounts of your time and energy for minimal outcomes.
However, lets consider the highest magnitude. Who are those individuals experiencing massive success? They are labeled in the chart above as “Outstanding” or “Extraordinary.” What do they have in common and how do they spend their time? Also, notice there are substantially fewer of these super successful people in volume when compared to the mediocre many. Probably less than 1% of the population.
I don’t think this can be understated. Little goals, limited effort, and the minor impact outcome are related. No one feels a minor quake, and 30,000+ happen every year!
ACTION ITEM: I’m personally doing an audit and taking a look at the aspects of my life in which I feel like I’m creating a very minimal impact. The next choice I must make is to either eliminate the activity or refocus and rededicate my efforts. Not all efforts deserve the same attention and energy. I hope this audit will also serve you well.