The 40% rule

There are a few key rules to get more from your life.

And one of them is the 40% rule.

Here’s how we can define it:

“As per the 40% rule, when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done.”

It’s as simple as that.

When you feel like quitting or stopping or taking a break or if you feel you can’t do more, you’ve hit only 40% of your capacity.

The rule is based on how our brains work.

We need to understand 2 components of this brain function:

1. Evolution

Based on evolution, the brain wants us to survive and be comfortable so whenever we get uncomfortable, the brain tells us much more in advance.

For example, if you are running. At some point the brain will ask you to stop. This is to prevent you from straying away from resources and dying.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) that’s not a problem for us today.

So we need to take control of our brain and know that it’s giving us signals to stop way in advance.

2. Society

Society, especially since the millennial age, wants us to be comfortable.

Doing something that we don’t like or what makes us uncomfortable is seen as something to avoid.

This has wired our brain to seek comfort and not try hard enough.

The advantage of modern society is that if you try a little bit more than others, it’s much easier to succeed now than anytime before.

So, as a result of the above 2 factors, the brain is wired to stop us way in advance i.e. at just 40% of our capacity.

So, what do you do next?

You teach yourself to analyse when your brain has given up and then go 60% extra.

Here are some examples:

  • During a deep work session, if you feel you’ve done enough after 40 minutes. You can actually push beyond 90 minutes in the same working session.
  • If you jog 4 kilometers and your brain is telling you can’t go anymore, you can actually jog 10 kilometers.

The rule can be applied as a life principle in various other aspects of your life as well. Here’s an example from Entrepreneurship:

You can fail many times in a new business idea and keep going knowing that your brain is asking you to stop way too early.

You can continue launching products and marketing campaigns even if you think you have done enough.

I use this rule to push myself to become a better entrepreneur and marketer – and even to get fitter, healthier, and more productive.

You can apply this rule to any area of your life.