Who are the 5%?
Who are the 95%?
The late, great radio personality and motivational speaker Earl Nightingale explains:
For those in my audience who decided not to view the video first, or just decided that just over 13 minutes of your time is too long to get to the point of this post, I condensed what Mr. Nightingale said in the video to three takeaways…
Firstly, only about 5% of us will find and maintain financial security and success, regardless of our chosen field or profession. Not because the other 95% are incapable, but rather are either unwilling or unmotivated. Following the crowd leads to mediocrity and failure.
Secondly, we (still) live in the richest country on Earth with more opportunities for success than exists anywhere else on Earth. These opportunities exist regardless of where you started out in life in this country, and this is regardless of your ethnicity, gender, religion, or national origin. Many immigrants come here from other countries with far, far less freedom than what we have in the United States and become vastly successful in a relatively short period of time.
Remember, if an immigrant was winning in his/her country of origin, they would not have had a reason to leave and come here.
Lastly, success is not a matter of luck, but planning. Which leads to the crux of the point of this post…
Planning requires thinking.
The Thomas Edison quote at the top of this post is an eloquent truism. “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think”.
For those perplexed as to why some people succeed (the 5%), while the vast majority of people fail (the 95%), it comes down to thinking vs not thinking; being non-conformist vs being conformist.
As the Nightingale video points out, “thinking” simply entails engaging in original and independent thought. “Thinking” entails having an open mind and striving to be the absolute master of your profession, whether that profession is being a janitor or a lawyer.
Conformity simply means being a follower, which goes hand-in-hand with not thinking. I rail against political ideologies, religion, the grievance industry (more on this in a future post), and pop culture, precisely because these things do not promote independent and original thought.
For example, there was a time when getting a tattoo was something only the most rugged or rebellious of men and women in society did. Today, people with tattoos are virtually ubiquitous. More often than not, a person gets tattooed due to a desire for conformity disguised as non-conformity. The 95% often do things because everyone else around them are doing the same thing, all in an effort to “fit in”.
As a veteran, I often hear non-veterans say that the military demands conformity. I can assure you that uniformity and conformity have very subtle, but significant differences, despite sharing interchangeable definitions. While there is a framework of rules and regulations to adhere to in the military, the service member who does not standout within that framework will not go very far.
The people who rise up in any hierarchical organization, like the military, are the people who think and don’t just follow the crowd. Intelligent and logical, “outside the box” thinking is celebrated and rewarded in the military.
Read the stories about Medal of Honor recipients (notice I said “recipients”, not “winners”) and this pattern becomes clear:
The elites throughout history, up to this day, know who the 95% are and how to control their behavior. We are so passionate about our preferred political ideologies and religions, which existed long before any of us alive today were ever born, that we never stop to think (operative word being “think”) just how much we allow our beliefs based upon these things to control our lives. The idiocy of living life within such narrow and dogmatic paradigms becomes obvious once you start thinking for yourself.
The ten percent of people who “think they are thinking” that Thomas Edison mentions in his quote are typically the people who wear their political ideologies and/or religious beliefs like a suit of armor and wield the same like a sword.
The so-called “woke” folks posting, tweeting, and shouting hashtags for whatever the media tells them they should be upset or happy about are firmly entrenched within the 95%. I know this is true because if you ask any one of them to articulate why they feel a certain way about a given issue of the day, the response will usually be a canned regurgitation of whatever the contrived narrative is from a liberal or a conservative point of view.
If you know the starting lineup of your favorite professional sports team, but don’t know how many members of Congress there are (535, Senate and House combined, by the way) or don’t who your congressman is, then chances are that you are in the 95%.
If you do not save and/or invest a portion of your income regularly (paying yourself first), then you are destined to be one of the 95% that Mr. Nightingale discussed in the above video, and I am sure that is not where you want to be.
-The Rational Ram