Have you ever heard the phrase, "give it 110%"? I have and I lived by this motto. I never felt satisfied with anything I did, unless I did more than what was expected of me. I could not do what was considered average or mediocre. I needed to push myself beyond expectations. In fact, at my seventh-grade award ceremony, I won the 110% award for always going above and beyond. And while pushing yourself to do more is great, living an 110% mindset is detrimental to yourself and your peers. In 2014, I abandoned 110% thinking thanks to a marching band practice.

It was late October and man named Mr. C changed my outlook forever. He told us that 110% is IMPOSSIBLE. 110% is flawed. 110% does more bad than good. 110% ruins the group. There can only be 100% from each individual.

At this point, I was thinking, "Wait a minute," but I listened closer and gained two new perspectives.

The first perspective of "110%" causes two issues. If I were to give 110%, I am doing more than I am capable of. This means I am not providing myself or the team quality products, rather I am trying to do more, because I think that is what is needed of me. But on the flip side, I am also robbing my peers from their opportunity to give their best effort. If I am attempting to out-do or over-step, then I am selfish. I am taking away their chance at success and inhibiting them from growing.

From a band perspective, Mr. C explained it as this,"if you try to outplay or play beyond your ability, you are not doing yourself or the group any favors". And if you are doing that, your teammates see that they do not need to work hard, because you are going to 'cover' for them. And I know I have that before. If someone outplays me, why not ride of the wave of their success and just hide in the background? It makes my life easier.

But, I have also been the one to give 110%. I have done the work for others, accomplished tasks by myself, and basically relied on only me to get the job done. And this is not because people did not want to help, it is because I would not let them.

The second perspective opened my eyes as much as the first. According to Mr. C, "everyone has a different 100%". *Jaw Drop* My 100% is different from yours, and yours is different from the guy next to you, and that is okay. In fact, that is amazing. Everyone and I mean everyone, is at different places in life, in abilities, in education, in work, etc. And that is what makes the world work. In every aspect of life, your 100% might mean giving more or less than your neighbors. This does not mean you are doing more and they are doing less, or visa-versa. Both are doing the task to the best of their ability, not to the best ability of those around them.

So, if you were to take anything away from the lesson I learned, it would be STOP COMPARING YOURSELF. You are you for a reason. Stop trying to be like everyone else. We want you for you, not because you are like your friends, parents, or peers. Whatever it means to be your best or give your all, do it! Know your 100% is yours and own it! Focus on your 100% and I guarantee, you will do amazing things.