Success in health and fitness comes when you stop letting your brain lie to you. As human beings, we’re hard-wired to seek comfort. It’s biological. Out of our control. More times than not, when our brains tell us something is impossible, our bodies are more than capable of accomplishing it.
To get in incredible shape, you have to learn to ignore the lies your brain will tell you.
Ignore the Lies: The 40 Percent Rule
There’s really no other way to say it — David Goggins is a super-human.
He’s the only U.S. Armed Forces member to complete Navy SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He’s competed in more than sixty ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. Oh, and he’s also a former Guinness World Record holder, completing 4,030 pull-ups in seventeen hours.
But Goggins wasn’t always this way.
His story starts as a 300-pound bug exterminator making $1,000 per month. Fed up with his life, one night he saw a TV show about the infamous Hell Week during Navy SEAL training. Inspired and moved, he decided he wanted to become one. After calling Navy recruiters and hearing countless no’s because of his weight, he finally got the answer he was looking for.
To apply to become a Navy SEAL, he needed to meet basic physical fitness requirements. For Goggins, this meant he would have to lose more than 100 pounds.
Three months later, he lost weight, was accepted into Navy SEAL training, and then went on to accomplish the incredible things he’s done since.
Goggins doesn’t think he’s special.
He’s just stopped letting his brain lie to him, a concept he coined as “the 40 percent rule.”
“Most human beings are only living at about 40% of their capability.” — David Goggins
Like a car, we have a governor in our brain. It’s a survival mechanism to protect us from pain and suffering. The second we feel any level of discomfort, our brains urge us to back off and seek comfort once again.
When your mind tells you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done.
The first step to achieving more is realizing that you have more left in the tank. That you can dig deeper. That there’s still breath left in your lungs.
Then, you have to continue pressing on. You have to ignore your mind and keep pushing forward.
Once you realize that your brain is just trying to protect you, you can then ignore your internal governor and start accomplishing more and more.
When you start pushing your limits, you take back control of your mind. You’ll start finding more in yourself. And you’ll realize that all along, you were capable of much more than you ever thought possible.
Next time your brain tells you you’re tired, ask yourself if you’ve really given everything you have. Chances are you’ll have a lot left in the tank.
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