How to do you keep going when you feel like you’ve pushed yourself enough and are ready to throw the towel? One of the areas of my life I’ve been focusing on is the skill of follow-through: set reasonably ambitious goals, do the work and finishing what I started even if the odds are stacked against me and I feel like giving up. This is especially so when I have committed to someone else and they expect me to deliver. I recently discovered the navy seal 40 per cent rule and its change how I think about human potential, endurance and capability…more on that shortly.
A few months ago, I joined a gym and decided to hire a personal trainer who’s been pushing me to my limits. Every time I want to give up he screams “come on, give me 3 more”. Surprisingly enough I always find the strength to oblige to his request. Today I went hiking with a group of friends and it was pure torture. The rule was, you can walk slowly if you feel tired but you cannot stop or rest till we get to the very top. My legs were burning but I keep walking to the finish line. The 40 per cent rule keeps popping into my mind when physical and mental endurance is required.
So what is the 40 percent rule? According to former Navy Seal and author David Goggins who popularised the rule, “When your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re only 40 percent done”. Your body has an interesting mechanism for self preservation where it starts warning you that it’s to wrap up when you are 40% done. As such, if you are to follow the default , you’ll only be living 40% of you capacity if you don’t push past the resistance barrier.
Pain is not something we all want to avoid all the time but if we subject ourself to the discomfort and push past it then that’s where the real breakthroughs happen. We have to constantly challenge ourselves to dig deeper, and to ignore the mental limits we place on ourselves as we travel the road to success.