Over 90 percent of people who start a marathon are going to finish it. That is an insanely high number considering that you need to overcome immense pain to succeed. Most people nowadays can not deal with the kind of discipline and pain involved with training. But those who do are very likely to finish the run.
After about 17 miles most people will hit a wall. Their brain is telling them to just stop, to just give up or just walk instead of running. But they push through, leave their comfort zone and finish the run. How comes?
Leaving your comfort zone is not fun. Our instincts tell us to stay save and never take any risk because of the possibility of failure. It has developed as a tool for survival but nowadays we do not need to think about survival 24/7. Most new places and new activities are not a threat to our lives or wellbeing.
But still, the comfort zones are getting smaller and smaller. The thought that others could dislike you makes you uncomfortable, forcing you to follow the path society wants you to take. Your brain screams at you not to take any risks.
Lifting weights or running long distances pushes you out of your comfort zone. It´s not risky, but it´s unpleasant because it uses willpower and energy. Testing your limits may be fun for a while but sooner or later you will get tired, thinking that you are done for today.
That´s where the 40 Percent Rule kicks in.
The theory says, if you think you are done, you have only accomplished about 40% of what you could accomplish.
That means if you can do 20 push ups before you want to quit, you could probably do about 50 if you really tried (and took some small breaks in between).
Your body is a slave of the mind. Control your mind to control your body.
Force your body to do just one more. And after that you force it to do two more. Remember that you haven´t even done half of what you are capable of. Just push a bit harder.
After a while you will notice that your comfort zone enlarges. Now it´s time to push yourself even further, trying things you never believed were possible.
That is the power of your mind. Your brain is lazy. It does not want to use additional willpower if it can get away with 40% of the maximum.
The only way to overcome this natural laziness is to force your body to do as you say. The power hidden inside of you is greater than you think. You just have to push your limits.
You are a superhero after all!