It’s been said that we only use a small percentage of our brain power. That we are not living up to our full potential. I even read somewhere that we can all have “super powers” if we use more than 10% of our brain’s capacity. But what does it all mean? How can we use our brain more? How does it affect our life?
I recently read 2 books about Navy Seals, ‘Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds’by David Goggins and ‘Make Your Bed’ by WIlliam H. McRaven. David Goggins, a mental beast, explains how time and time again he kept running even though his legs were broken or he kept doing pull ups even though he had 3rd degree burns in his hands. He broke the Guinness Record of the most pull ups in 24 hours (4,030 in 17 hours).
David Goggins was no extraordinary man. He had a tough childhood, was overweight at 16 but when he decided he would take control, everything started to change. He broke record after record by conquering his mind and according to him: when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. That means we have another 60% untapped territory and potential to take advantage of!
Is this a real thing or just motivational nonsense? Well, actually in 2008, researchers found that people – subjects were given a placebo (a substance of no intended therapeutic value) but told it was caffeine. The same subjects were able to lift a lot more weight than those who were really given caffeine. This confirms that the extent of the limits we put on our minds need revising and perhaps we are not using this tool as productively as possible!
How we can put our brain to more use and overcome our own limits:
- Look for purpose in things you do. When you have a strong why behind a goal, reaching new limits becomes easier. For example running an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill to lose body fat when your brain is telling you’ve had enough.
- Challenge yourself constantly. Do not give yourself an easy way out. Next time you reach a point where your mind is saying, ‘stop, I can’t take anymore,’ ignore it. Tell yourself,‘ I AM IN CONTROL AND I’LL TELL YOU WHEN TO STOP’.
- When you face a wall, remind yourself how strong you are. Keeping a mental box where you put all the obstacles or challenges you overcame in the past inside can come in handy. By reminding yourself what you already went through successfully the task in hand becomes easier.
- Break things down into smaller pieces. Most times a big challenge or goal can be easiest tackled when you break it down into smaller steps. The trick is to focus on the step in front of you and avoid drowning by constantly thinking of the big task as a whole.
“A warrior is not a person that carries a gun. The biggest war you ever go through is right between your own ears. It’s in your mind. We’re all going through a war in our mind, and we have to callus our mind to fight that war and to win that war.” David Goggins
Coach your amazing brain and reach new limits. You CAN do it!