Excerpted from an article on Inc. by Jeff Haden
The 40 Percent Rule [is] a concept popularized by Dave Goggins through Jesse Itzler’s book Living With a Seal. The premise is simple: When your mind tells you that you’re exhausted, fried, totally tapped out, you’re really only 40 percent done. You still have 60 percent left in your tank.
In short, you always — always – have more in you than you think. When you’re doing something difficult and think you need to stop, you have more in you.
When you’re trying to overcome a bad habit and are ready to give up, you have more in you.
When you’re about to give up on yourself, because whatever you’re trying to do just seems too hard, you have more in you.
Why? Because most of our limits are self-imposed. Over time, we’ve set those limits for ourselves.
How long we’ll stick with a challenge before giving up and moving on. How long we’ll stare at a whiteboard, trying to think of a way past a problem, before giving up and moving on.
How many calls we’ll make. Emails we’ll send. Proposals we’ll create. Follow-ups we’ll make.
Those limits only seem real because habit has created them.
But they aren’t real.
Think of a time when fear helped you push past what you thought was a barrier. Think about a time when a huge incentive helped you push past what you thought was a barrier.
Then, you could do more.
Because it turns out your limit was only 40 percent of what you were truly capable of achieving.
The next time you think you’ve reached your cold-call limit, make one more. The next time you think you’ve reached your employee development meeting limit, conduct one more. The next time you think you’ve reached your quality double-check limit, check one more order.
Challenge yourself to see if you can endure just a little more.
You’ll find out you can.
And you’ll realize that your limits are self-imposed.
And that you can accomplish a lot more than you once thought possible.