Today is a Jesse Itzler kind of day. Reflecting on his book Living With A S.E.A.L. which is a tremendous book that is hilarious at the same time. It's the first real exposure one gets to the living myth who is David Goggins and it is inspiring. A sober slap in the face if you feel like you are pushing yourself, Goggins will quickly make you realize that your 100% is probably closer to your 40%. I know it's something I often struggle with. It's one thing to motivate yourself to get to the gym but to be able to push through those difficult points when things get hard. Things start to get heavy and we pat ourselves on the back and say that was a good workout. What are we leaving on the table though? This book opens the door to what is possible and really the idea that we are capable of much more.
An interesting thought exercise I've been playing with lately while working out is simply asking What If? style questions. What if I ride for 5 more seconds? What if I do two more reps? It's an interesting little exercise as you start to see yourself push a little further than you have in the past creating more space for growth. Jesse uses the term under-indexing what we are really capable of and as we do these small exercises we begin to see we are all living an under-indexed life. Maybe it's thinking back to something we did that seemed difficult at the time and recognizing this as our limit but, in fact, I'd argue that you, and I, are capable of much more. I've never run a marathon and have always considered myself a runner. Then I ran 5k and suddenly realized that if I push myself, I can be a runner.
Slowly, over time, we can begin to ask this question in various parts of our life. What if I write a blog post every day? Why would you think it's not possible, to begin with? What if I take/edit/post a photo every day? What if I post two a day? There are a lot of areas in our lives, namely the mental models and beliefs we carry around, where this type of exercise can really be beneficial. Perhaps it is the new year around the corner and the sense that we need to take count of how the past year went, but I think there should always be an urgent sense of evaluating our lives to make sure we are on the path we want to be on.
This book is worth a listen for its hilarity and also the underlying inspiration that it provides. Recognizing that difficult things are good for us and that we need to stop under-indexing our own lives. We are all capable of so much more. If you think of the points in your life where you achieved some great success or met a difficult goal, what if that was only 40%?