The following is an excerpt from my book, Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals by Alissa Finerman. The book transforms the way we think about our potential.
LIVING IN YOUR TOP 1%
“If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would
literally astound ourselves.”
How many people actually love what they do and enjoy their
life every day? For some, parts of life are repetitious, parts are
“have-to-do’s,” and parts are pure play. For most people, the
pleasurable part is probably not as frequent as it could be.
From the time we are children, many of us are conditioned
to win science fairs, sports games, or talent shows. We learn that
we will be given medals, trophies, and other awards for a first
place finish. We are trained to think that “winning” is based
on being better than others. As we mature, we notice that the
media showcases winners and often highlights the weaknesses
of second and third place finishes. The Olympics celebrates
athletes who are better than all the other athletes in the world.
We learn that comparing ourselves to others extends globally.
What about all the other contenders who did their best? After a
while, it’s natural to think that in order to be the best you have
to be better than others. Many people define success by being
in the top 1%, when in reality it’s about living in your top 1%.
Looking back on your life, what are the moments that have
brought you the greatest pleasure and a sense of personal
achievement? Naturally, you will be proud of winning the Fifth
Grade Spelling Bee or being chosen MVP of your high-school
volleyball team. To begin expanding your mindset and thinking
bigger, try to remember shining moments in your life that were
not based on competition. Was it turning your photography
hobby into a full-time career, raising money for a charity close
to your heart, coaching your child’s soccer team, or getting the
promotion you worked day and night to achieve?
Often, we allow the beliefs we grew up with to dictate what we
believe today. You may have mental maps in place that no longer
serve you in different parts of your life. Some people are held
back from reaching their full potential because of self-imposed
limitations such as fear and lack of confidence. Others do not
realize it is even an option to strive for something personally
significant and exciting. People tend to have preconceived
notions about what is possible and impossible. The best award
is lasting personal fulfillment which comes from within. You
can win gold every day by achieving your personal best.
You can live in your top 1% and enjoy moments of great
success and satisfaction regardless of what other people around
you are doing. Imagine what the world would look like if we
all reached our greatest potential. Living in your top 1% is a
win-win scenario. It’s about living your best life and choosing
the right road for you.
Top 1% living is about having a vision, making progress
in key areas, and understanding that small shifts
in mindset produce powerful shifts in behavior. It is not
dependent on your age, the size of your bank account, or your
education. Top 1% moments are defined by the feelings of
fulfillment, excitement, and joy that come from the experience
of reaching for your best, rather than the accomplishments
* The above passage is an excerpt from Alissa Finerman’s book, Living in Your Top 1%, available on Amazon.com and in select Barnes and Noble bookstores. The book will be available March 10th.
Alissa is a life coach, author, and speaker. She works with individual clients and corporations to help them think bigger and get results. She has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. You can learn more about the book by visiting Alissa’s website or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been thinking about writing a book since 2005 when I took a writing class and wrote down a few goals. I didn’t know what shape it would take but that dream has finally become my reality with my first book, Living in Your Top 1%. Many people have been asking me about the process of writing a book so I thought it would be fun to share a few of the questions:
Q. What’s your most meaningful moment of writing your first book, Living In Your Top 1%?
I’m most proud that I said I was going to do something and I actually did it. There were so many reasons why this couldn’t be done and there were so many obstacles along the path that could have derailed me. I looked at every single one of them in the eye and figured out a way to move past them all.
Q. What’s the best part about writing a book?
That I get to write about a topic that inspires me and others. It’s a win-win. This is the first career in my life that I love what I do everyday (well pretty much everyday). Another exciting part is that I will be donating a portion of the profits from each book to several charities that support underprivileged children and groups.
Q. What’s the book about?
Living in Your Top 1% shares the most powerful ingredients for success and translates them into nine simple and easy-to-implement rituals. Combining research from the best thinkers in the field with a collection of compelling stories, I’ve created a comprehensive guide to reaching your true potential. The book is divided into three sections: Assess, Create, and Implement. Each section includes three rituals to inspire you to create the reality you want. The book helps to assess where you currently are in your life, identify the areas that you would like to excel in, and develop your own personal roadmap to get there. The nine rituals will challenge you to think differently, take action, and get results.
Q. What was your writing process like?
I started out by writing an hour a day. Then I tried to write for the entire day but realized it was not a productive strategy. I refined my process to write every morning when my mind was the clearest. Later in the process, I wrote in the mornings for about 3 – 4 hours and then again in the evenings after 8pm. Toward the end of the process, I was focusing on the book about 10 hours a day – pretty much non-stop because there was so much to get done and I wanted to meet a specific release date.
Q. What was the hardest part of the process?
Because I made the decision to self-publish my book, I was the CEO of the project which meant I oversaw every part of the process – writing, editing, designing the cover, laying out the book, and developing a PR/Marketing strategy. Obviously, I had a talented support team along the way (which helped me make this book possible) but in the end, every decision was mine and that’s a lot of pressure. The actual writing and editing process took about 15 months (not including time and research spent thinking about what I wanted to write). The last four months of editing were very challenging for me. I’m grateful for my editor, Lisa Zollner, who helped me take this book to the next level. At times, I thought the process might never end. When you are so close to the project it’s difficult to take a step back and evaluate your own words. I was very protective of what I had written and my editor helped me organize my thoughts in a more powerful method. For that I am grateful.
Q. Was there any drama along the way?
In the 11th hour, I had to change the first designer who was laying out the interior of my book. I was playing a tennis tournament in Palm Springs and I received an email from the designer Friday night. I was already very tight on deadlines so needless to say, this did not help. My social media team, lead by Connor Raus, came to the rescue and connected me with a talented designer, Carlos Moreno, who took over the project. One word, gratitude!
Q. What was the most surprising part of the process?
I knew I needed to secure some big names to endorse the book so I started thinking about who might like the book. During this time, I started attending Marianne Williamson’s lectures in Los Angeles and had the privilege of chatting with her before she spoke one night. We had a nice conversation and I gave her a draft of my book. I saw her the next week and she mentioned she liked the book. I got up my nerve and asked if she would consider writing an endorsement and she very graciously responded “Yes.” My process of personal growth started when I read her book, A Return to Love, so it was a very meaningful moment. The story is a great reminder to ask for what you want to bring into your life.
Q. What inspires you and helps you clear you mind to write?
Exercise, carving out time for myself, and connecting with the important people in my life. To get in a writing state of mind, I like to hike and be close to the mountains and ocean. That’s when my mind is the clearest and I have interesting ideas. When I need to gain clarity or figure something out, I always go for a hike in the Santa Monica mountains. I also carve out time during the week to take a yoga or spin class at my gym, Equinox Fitness Clubs, and play tennis at the Malibu Racquet Club. And most importantly to stay connected, I talk with my mom, dad, and brother most days.
Q. How do you feel?
I feel incredibly exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. This is one of the most satisfying achievements of my life. I’m hopeful that the book can help people make a difference in their life — the early feedback is positive. I’m already working with a couple of charities (Dress for Success and the Milken Scholars Program) and I’m confident that this book can give many people a framework to help them reach their potential.
Q. Are you Living in Your Top 1%?
People ask me this question frequently…I’m enjoying many more top 1% moments now than several years ago, it’s a continuous journey and I’m always striving to improve and challenge myself. It’s really a way of life, so in some areas yes and in others I continue to learn and get better.
Please stay in touch with me on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Living In Your Top 1%, will be available March 10th, 2011 on Amazon.
Believe in yourself,
Alissa is a life coach, speaker, and an author. She works with individual clients and corporations to help them think bigger and get results. She has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business. Alissa lives in Santa Monica, CA. To learn more, please visit www.AlissaFinerman.com