“2 more times!” When I am exhausted trying to do 10 times of chest fly in the gym room, my personal trainer forces me to do 2 more times. This is how he trained me – instead of doing 10 times of training, he always asks for 10+2 times.
His theory is simple – 10 times of training is standard, the additional 2 times are to make sure we can exceed our limits. The key here is not the number of training we are doing, but we always do more than we thought we could do.
This is how training works. We should never try to stop at the time we thought we also give up, but to push ourselves more when we really want to give up. We can only improve ourselves by doing so.
Remember when I joined marathon few years ago, in order to accomplished 22km marathon, I force myself to run at least 3 times a week. Every time when I hit the turning point, instead of turning back immediately, I ran for around 50m more.
For example, if I planned to run for 10km in total that time, I would end up running for 10km + 100m.
2 more times of physical tolerance = higher mental tolerance
This is not only about our bodies.
You may think, “Just doing 2 more times, so what? Maybe you can have a stronger body, but there are too many problems in our lives that stronger bodies couldn’t help much.”
You are right. There are a lot of complicated questions that we need more skills to resolve them. However, learning new skills is just like training our bodies. If we can always push ourselves to do more than we thought we could do, the same attitude can be applied to learning new skills.
Imagine that we needed to master a second language, we always needed to spend some time learning the reading, writing, listening and talking. However, we only had 24 hours a day, and we also needed to do other things such as working, accompanying with our family, etc. It would be far much difficult to spare 1 to 2 hours on learning new language.
To most of the people, they would choose to give up because they thought they cannot schedule some time on learning. However, for those who got used to push themselves, they would use the same attitude to push themselves on learning other skills, squeezing some time to learn.
In other words, they will not give up so easily just because they are facing small difficulties. They will have higher mental tolerance than other people.
We can be David Goggins
Recently I am listening to David Goggins’ audio book, “Can’t Hurt Me”. In this book, David reveals his deepest darkness in his childhood and how he could overcome that darkness and become the man we know.
He was fat when he was young, and that was not qualify if he wanted to join the United States Navy SEAL, which he really wanted to be one of the members. Therefore, he trained every hard every day and trying to improve his physical strength and his knowledge. He never gave up but exceeded his limit every time, eventually we lose a lot of weight in months and learn all the knowledge necessary to pass the test.
David is a normal guy just like us, but he can achieve a lot of things that other cannot because he has this attitude to do more than he thought he could do, and he never gives up.
Here is the sharing from David from one of his interviews.