Saturday, April 8, 2017

BEYOND THAT FORTY PERCENT: PUSHING YOURSELF TO ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

To this day, I believe the most incredible speech ever given by a human being is McRaven's inspiring commencement speech at the University of Texas:  "If You Want to Change the World, Start by Making Your Bed."  That has become my favorite pep talk to rewatch - even though I still struggle with making my bed on a daily basis.  Recently, I had the opportunity to read an interview with McRaven and others, and once again, I was stunned.  When training the future SEALS, McRaven said something to the effect that his job was not to teach them things they didn't know how to do. These guys are the best of the best when it came to physical conditioning and athleticism.  His job was to push them beyond that forty percent.

What does that mean?  Well, earlier in the interview, McRaven said that when we, as humans reach the point of exhaustion, we still have only used about sixty percent of our capacity.  That means, we have forty percent left.  Forty percent!  That's a lot, when you really think about it!  So, what is it that holds us back from pushing harder?  What is it that keeps us from accessing that power that we have in our own reserve tank?  How do we learn to push beyond to achieve that result we so desire?

I have thought a lot about this over the years.  I have watched individuals and teams achieve what many had said was impossible.  I have seen people shut down incredible odds to realize their dreams. What is it, exactly, that enables them to do that?  I believe it is that same thing that sets the SEALS apart in their training as elites:  They manage to push beyond into that extra forty percent.

In my own experience and observation, and in listening to those who have coached and achieved the impossible, here is what I have learned:

1.  "Any team can win on any given day" (Terry Bradshaw).  It all comes down to gumption.  How badly do you want this?  How far are you willing to push yourself to get it?  My mother used to say all the time, "Is this a mountain you want to die on?"  Same thing.  How important is it?  Your mind is king when it comes to pushing your physical limits.  Many think it is the condition of the body.  It is, to a degree.  But even more powerful is the will of your mind.  It is profound.  In short, passion is just about everything.

2.  "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment" (Jim Rohn).  My dad called this work ethic.  Achieving the impossible requires discipline.  Discipline requires denying yourself things that you want now for the ultimate goal you dream to achieve then.  I have been very hard on my kids when it comes to this one.  Maybe your parents have, too.  You can play later.  Work and chores first.  It's a lesson I started learning very young.  My own father lived in poverty in South Dakota.  His home didn't even have actual flooring - it was dirt.  They lost their farm once, and had to work hard to get it back.  He had to set out on his own at thirteen because he didn't want to be a farmer like his father.  He lived at a boarding house, trading a place to live for cooking breakfast, cleaning, and other chores.  He worked three  jobs in high school, and went ROTC to pay for university.  After serving his country in the Korean War and landing a job with a huge retailing company, he promised loyalty as an executive with that company in exchange for them financing his Masters at NYU.  He was a self-made millionaire.  When dad told us to finish our work, we didn't challenge him!

3.  "I like criticism.  It makes you strong" (LeBron James).  Another thing that separates the wildly
successful from the moderately successful is their ability to take and apply criticism.  If I may be perfectly candid, our society has, in SO many ways, gone soft.  We have spent so much time focused on making everyone feel good about themselves, we have lost that art of offering and seeking constructive criticism.  If you cannot take criticism, you cannot grow.  You cannot develop.  You cannot challenge yourself to push harder.

4.  "Have patience.  Everything is difficult before it is easy" (Saadi).  Sometimes, the fastest way to something is far from the best way.  I have found in my life that anything that is worth having requires both hard work AND patience.  You may hear a thousand no's, but all you need is that one yes!  Instead of hearing no, hear "Not Now."  Waiting is SO hard....but anyone who has had to endure waiting knows it takes a lot of energy.  Patience is the art of enduring the wait and keeping the upbeat, will do (not can do) attitude.

5.  "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail" (Ralph Waldo
Emerson).  Closely related to patience (I call it patience's twin) is persistence.  You must have the endurance to persevere.  At the risk of using a corny runner's metaphor, Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  To those with big dreams, it is a race.  You need to tackle it as such.  Looking forward to what lies ahead is much more productive than looking back.  Use the hard lessons, pain and hurt to propel you forward.  You'll be a better person with a stronger character and lots of wisdom that way when you do reach your summit!

In all of this, be kind.  Accept the help and support of others, and when you have achieved, offer what you have learned to those who are in the midst of the storms of struggle.  Inspire others!  And always, above all things, be grateful.  Nobody reaches beyond that forty percent without someone shouting encouragement and urging them on along the sidelines.

I hope this is helpful in some small way.  At the very least, maybe it will give you something to think about as you assess your goals and dreams, your gifts and talents, and your willingness to push beyond that forty percent.

Attached, are two articles about pushing beyond limits, and, of course, the infamous McRaven speech.  What stands out to you?  What is your secret formula for success and pushing beyond your limits?  Teachers who read this blog:  here is your chance to also share your wisdom with scholars!

Article #1:  https://hbr.org/2012/07/how-hard-are-you-willing-to-pu.html
Article #2:  http://dereklauber.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-summiting-everest-running-inventing-light-bulbs/

McRaven's Speech - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70

85 comments:

  1. Thank you Mrs. Caraway for an inspiring post. This is the time of year when we all feel we have reached our maximum capacity. This is true for teachers, scholars and parents. We start to feel like we can't keep spinning all the plates, everything is going to come crashing down. Just last night I expressed that thought to a friend. I was on the verge of tears and thought-"I just don't know if I can do it." I was at what I thought was my max capacity. Luckily that friend reminded me of what I will remind all of you-"You have felt this way before. You have put your head down and done the work and you have made it through. That experience has made you wiser and stronger." Although it is important to keep our final goals in mind, sometimes looking that far forward can be daunting. Instead, sometimes it is important to take one step at a time. It is important to remember that you have struggled before and pushed through. Finally, and probably most important, remember that if you don't ultimately achieve the goal you sought, be sure you value the journey you took to get there. Sometimes we work incredibly hard and still don't get what we want. If you value the journey and all the lessons you learn on the way, the outcome becomes less daunting.

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    1. I agree! Be willing to wait for what you ultimately want. Sometimes, that requires taking a step back to reflect on where you were, your strategies for going forward, and where you would like to be.

      I remember being in a health crisis in my 30's and looking out my window at runners out there running along the coastline of Southern California. They were strong, healthy and beautiful. I was so sad. My good friend let me feel sorry for myself for a day, and then said, "You make a promise to yourself right now, that soon, someday, you will be out there running, too." She was right. I was determined to do whatever I could in my power to get better. My goal was just to run down the coast - no matter how far - with no vertigo. Guess what? A whole 4 years later, I ran a half marathon. Now, had I known at the time it was going to take four years and many doctors, I would have been discouraged. You take it a step at a time, but push forward. Always, pushing forward to your goal. NEVER quit. And thank God I didn't know how long it would take at the time! ;)

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  2. This is such an encouraging post! As the parent of a young woman who has to persist and face challenges that seem insignificant to many, I have experienced that success is not a destination; it's most often a journey. I'm fairly certain I didn't see it that way when I was younger, though.

    Sure, there are those who would argue that I only think that's true because she doesn't come in first or doesn't "win." Yet, she has pushed far beyond boundaries - that were imposed by others and herself - over and over again. She is determined, but that was not always a natural inclination. There has been a support system of family, friends, and educators who have been part and continue to be part of that journey, and I am so grateful. She has learned to exercise persistence, discipline, and plenty of patience. She's pushing past the 60%, but it looks different than it will for someone else. It's taking longer, and that's okay, too.

    I think there is wisdom and strength, also, in allowing oneself grace when you want to push harder, farther, faster, and still find yourself facing obstacles with health, time, finances, unexpected times of waiting for a variety of reasons - life's interruptions. Knowing when to catch your breath or when to dig in and press on is the key for finding balance, which is something I've learned the hard way more than once. Most of the time it's mind over matter. Every now and then, it is not.

    Comparing our success to others' can inspire us if we respond correctly, but it can also discourage us if we think that our identity is defined by what we accomplish instead of what we learn and who we become along the way.

    P.S. For other readers, Mrs. Caraway knows that I'm also the parent of a well-trained Marine, who would respond to this post with a hearty "Oohrah!" and "Semper Fi." He knows every word of her post is true and lives it.

    Thank you for this post, Mrs. Caraway. A great reminder, regardless of age, gender, or experience.

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    1. Yes!! I think winning looks different, too. For Taylor, there have been a lot of "wins." For each of us, a win looks different. Sometimes, it is being able to do something that used to scare us all alone and to completion. Other times, it could mean earning a World Series ring! It all depends on the ultimate goal that you have set, and usually, that goal comes after setting a series of smaller goals.

      Running in a half marathon may be small peanuts to an Olympic athlete, but to me, it was a HUGE win. :) Our wins are all different and unique, but they are ours to own, claim, and celebrate. :)

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    2. Exactly! Choosing how we're going to press forward is so individual and important. I'm so proud of you for running that half!

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  3. Interesting, it would make sense that we are not using our full capacity. Its just a way for telling us that tired/exhausted and should rest. But, this just doesn't leads us physical fitness but our mental fitness/health as well. Specifically it helps us with our work ethics. For me, I notice a few important characteristics you need to achieve what you strive to be or want. You need to be consistent and persevere. To achieve a goal, an ambitious goal, you need to work hard at it. You need to keep pushing, keep at it, yes their may be obstacles in the way, but that isn't going stop you from achieving that goal. This article you wrote, made me realize. That most people would rather do something that will give them little satisfaction in life then a big goal that could could actually benefit and satisfy them even more. This is also one of my main problems in life. Not completing assignments, distracted by drama and other things that give me little satisfaction. Which really kills important time but, its addictive though. This can relate to another article you wrote about how people are always on their phones. That satisfaction for example getting "likes" or "thumbs up" encourages you to waste more time, to get more gratification that someone approves of what your doing. That gratification could become a drug, getting high off of dopamine rushing through your body. Of course I'm not saying having "likes" or "thumbs up" from facebook or other social media makes you (as in everyone in general) obsessively happy but, its one of the little things in life we obsess over that could potentially consume us to a state of unhealthiness.

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    1. Yes, distractions are a HUGE obstacle. That's why discipline is SO important. You really have to be on your own case to keep moving forward. I think if you build in a set time limit on "technology breaks," allowing yourself a small chunk of time to be on your phone, that helps break it up. Try setting a timer. I do that with my kids - even my older ones--for lots of things: chores, time on the computer for games, TV watching, etc. It keeps me accountable as the mom, too! :)

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  4. The first article stood out to me the most, "Human beings have two powerful primal instincts. One is to avoid pain, an instinct that helped us to survive when we were vulnerable to predators in the savanna. The other is to move towards pleasure, an instinct that once kept us foraging for food, which was scarce, and still helps to ensure that we pass on our genes" was the most interesting part for me. It is funny to look back on how humans used their survival instincts then, versus how they are used now, because you would think that over time the instincts would disappear, but instead they modify as we advance. Our instincts push forwards as our minds develop, and I admire the biology behind that. In the second article, I found great insight to what Derek had to say. I like how he broke down each topic into steps of how to reach your goal and the benefits of how you do it. I definitely want to try is step of "doing it in spurts". To me this seems realistic to do because the efforts will make great strides without overworking you mentally and physically. Here I am brought back to my mental strength to push past my limits, keep going, and accomplish what I was set to do. Personally for me I have to keep myself disciplined. When I have a set assignment I work through it immediately. I hate procrastination and I can't function normally because the thought is stuck in my mind. Although this method is helpful for somethings, I do notice that dropping everything for one task may be too extreme, and sometimes I need to slow down and take in the beauty of life around me. I need to enjoy the ride because the destination isn't always all that it seems to be. Therefore I have to dig deep for patience and understanding that things take time.

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  5. The following statement in the first article is so true for me; it describes what’s going on in my head perfectly when I’m trying to focus on something: “I’d love to stop working right now and check my email, or visit my refrigerator, not just because either one would provide a hit of pleasure, but also to get away from the discomfiting challenge of trying to wrestle the jumble of ideas in my head into clear, evocative sentences.” It is so hard to stay focused most of the time, and that is because of my #1 enemy: distractions. I like how the article discusses minimizing temptation, because that is a big factor when it comes to persisting through to get something completed.
    Another important factor, for me at least, is possessing the ability to look past instant gratification and realize that the long-term happiness is the thing to look forward to. It goes along with distractions, because putting off a paper to watch television, for example, is both tempting and pleasurable, but only in that moment. Finishing the paper gets you the long-term happiness because then you don’t have to worry about it, and you have that positive feeling you get after completing something. There is just that short-term pain and discomfort that you have to endure, but it pays off in the end. Another quote from the same article sums this up well, “The unavoidable truth is that the willingness to endure discomfort and sacrifice instant gratification is the only way to get better at anything, and to achieve true excellence.” Great points were made in these articles, the speech, and the blog post, and it is important that people realize these tips because it will help them throughout their whole life when it comes to just about anything.

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  6. What stood out to me most was how both articles mentioned the idea of pushing past pain and going against human nature. They said to turn this into a habit. Similar to the habit of making your bed. I've always love McRaven's speech from the first time I saw it. I found it inspiring and often refer to it in bad times. It helps me get over being a sugar cookie. My "secret formula" for success and pushing myself beyond my basic limits is staying organized, setting a goal, and pushing when I feel like I'm at my breaking point.

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  7. Ha! Me, too! Sometimes (like lately) I get into sugar cookie mode, and I need to get over it. ;)

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  8. What stood out to me the most was in the first article how he said short bursts of high intensity was the most efficient way to push yourself past your limits. I find that interesting because I feel like that method is least efficient for me. I get unfocused if I don't complete a task all at once. It's strange to me that people can work in those small bursts and still work effectively. I also think that everyone's point of pain is at a different level. Some have higher intensity and less endurance while others are the opposite. It's another point where you can see how others work differently than you do. My most effective work mode is getting everything I have on a written list so I can check everything off by hand. I feel it shows how hard I have worked, rather than deleting it off of an electronic note on my computer. That check mark makes me feel accomplished and once I have everything I needed to do completed, I feel that I can relax and not stress over the fact that I might have missed something. The physical proof that I didn't forget anything is enough of a stress reliever for me.

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  9. Something that I really noticed and what stood out to me in both of the two articles, was that there were steps that were laid out there in order to "achieve the greatness you're capable of". Though these articles brought up many good points I think that they're definitely "feel good" articles and I don't know if I believe that there are just simple steps to achieve your greatness. The articles, especially the first one, lay out how absolutely ANYONE can be great, but I think that in a lifetime, not everyone will achieve their greatness no matter how hard they try. Though people definitely have potential to be great I believe that there are some people that no matter how hard they try they just won't be able to get there. I enjoyed reading these articles but think that using the word "greatness" may be a bit too bold. I don't believe that there are simple steps to accomplish things in life as these articles have laid out, but rather I think that people will find their own ways that may not coincide with these ideals.

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  10. I love this post Mrs. Caraway! I think that it is something we can all relate to, in one way or another.
    I have found myself time and time again pushing myself past my limits. A week before my 16th birthday, I was hired at Texas Roadhouse. Throughout my whole sophomore year I worked an average of 30 hours a week, I played sports year round (Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball) with no break in between, and managed to keep my grades as all A's. It was hard, to go to practice, then to work, to get home at midnight and try to do all my homework before 2 in the morning, so I could at least get a few hours of sleep before waking up at 6 to do it all over again. That year was probably my hardest year.
    I found it easier in my sports to push myself past my limits. After all, its easier to push yourself when your thinking about beating another person, right? I found it extremely hard to push myself when all I was aiming for was to beat myself.
    It however did get easier, months later I finally found myself developing those habits, like they had mentioned, made it easier to do it, day in and day out. Here I am, two years later still doing the same things, a few have changed. I work around 50 hours a week, and only played two sports this year, my grades aren't exactly where I would like them to be, but i'm still proud of them.
    Finally, I would love to share something Mrs. Hurley said in her post, that I found to be very important; "Finally, and probably most important, remember that if you don't ultimately achieve the goal you sought, be sure you value the journey you took to get there. Sometimes we work incredibly hard and still don't get what we want. If you value the journey and all the lessons you learn on the way, the outcome becomes less daunting."

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    1. This is a very thoughtful response - I had never thought about it that way: working towards beating another rather than yourself, but you are right - I think that is a big motivator. I see that, also in my son. When you suddenly are accountable to others, it makes it that much more intense.
      I love what Mrs. Hurley said, and it is my goal to someday have that kind of acceptance. I am an Army Captain's kid, so I was raised to push and push and never, ever give up on your goal. But that doesn't mean that goal cannot morph into something you had never considered or known about at first. We change. Our goals change, too. Experience changes us. I like to think of it as living in the moment rather than looking forever forward. The SEALS say, "Embrace the suck." Perhaps that is a bit brash, but there is some golden truth in that. The hard times should be celebrated! They build us and sculpt us into a stronger character with more interesting edges and perspectives. They help us to inspire the future. A dear friend of mine told me once when I was going through a rough time, "This will pass. The good news is, nothing ever stays the same. Change will come. The bad news is, nothing ever stays the same. Change will come." That is daunting, but it can also be what makes life exciting. You never know what might be around the next corner! :)

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  11. What stood out to me was the fact that pushing yourself a little bit constantly will help you push even farther. I have always tried to push myself but always too much. I am thoroughly exhausted everyday from continuously working, learning, planning, writing, and rehearsing. I spend every hour of the day doing something. When I wake up, I warm up my vocals for the upcoming day. When I go to bed I memorize lines and music. Every hour between is full of stimulating situations where I always push myself. So, what stood out is that I need to take breaks from the push to recover.
    My "secret formula" is anxiety... if that makes any sense. I think about the consequences of what will happen if I do not get something done or done well. I think of disappointing my family and teachers, of missing out on college opportunities, of losing the streak of A's that I have held all my life, and of not achieving my goal because of one mistake. I make myself nervous and thus force myself to keep going because if I don't there will be even worse things that I will lose like a solid future, a happy present, and a completion of what I have been working for my whole life.

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    1. Oh, Sarah, you totally captured what drives me! While you call your secret formula “anxiety,” I refer to mine as “fear”....fear of failure. Funny you mention it; for me, it’s worked out but, at this point in my life, I’d prefer a little less stress!

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  12. The parts that stood out to me the most are how the first article discusses how people prefer to deny themselves future gratification for immediate gratification, and how the second article mentions how people need to push themselves beyond their limits to achieve success. Both articles tell the reader to make a habit of pushing yourself beyond your ‘limits’, so that you can achieve more. They say that great pioneers repeatedly failed and suffered, but didn’t stop. I feel like I need to push myself more to accomplish my goals, but I don’t want to suffer. This conflict makes it hard for me to achieve the big goals in my life.

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  13. Both of the articles helped me to realize that its ok to work in short bursts when allowed in the timeline to get things done. When it came to anything I did,I always believed that something either had to be done right away, or not at all.


    Knowing the outcomes of pushing my limits is what helps me get past them. Take the IB programme for example, it is probably one of the most challenging obstacles I have ever taken in my education and I think that the long nights, and paper work will teach me that I can do anything when I set my mind to it.

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  14. What stood out out to me was the repetition of pushing yourself beyond your limits. I had always thought that pushing yourself to your limits was the ending to your full capacity but it is actually the beginning to your true capacity. When I put effort into something I focus on that specific thing until I get it done. At times it can be hard but by staring with removing temptation then I am free to strive for success.

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  15. One thing that I found interesting was how little achievements in everyday life can lead to bigger and better things. For example, in McRaven's speech, the whole idea of making your bed in the morning is the key to being successful. In the "What You Need to Know About Summiting Everest" article, there is the conversation of how the author saw that pushing himself in the gym transferred over to pushing himself in other areas of his life like his work. It is crazy to think that by doing something so small, you can achieve huge goals in your life and maybe even things that you never thought were possible in the first place. The idea that no one is done pushing themselves when they think they are is huge, because it shows me that whenever I think that I have hit my 100%, there is always 40% more left in me. I do not have a certain way of trying to accomplish things. I kind of go through life doing whatever I need to do, and when I feel as though I am done, I stop. Reading these articles has opened up my eyes to the fact that I am not done, and that I need to give that much more. I will definitely be making sure that I keep going once I believe that I have reached my limits.

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    1. Love this. Yes! Starting by getting the little things done pushes us, and motivates us. "Well, I finished that, what's next?" It makes us realize that we are way more capable when we think. I love what you said here: "Reading these articles has opened up my eyes to the fact that I am not done, and that I need to give that much more." That was inspiring to me. :)

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  16. I really connected with the idea that a small amount of work now can lead to a great victory later. Something that I like to do is not overwork myself, so when I have free time and motivation, I'll work in that moment to achieve as much as I can. I also feel, however, that it is important to create time to relax and have fun. In the end, you'll never get where you want to be if you take it TOO seriously. Obviously, the things we want and are passionate about take a tremendous amount of effort, but we should never overwork ourselves to the point of maximum stress or anxiety.

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  17. Grit. To me, that’s the theme in Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech: perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Up to their necks in mud, freezing cold, in the dark, the Navy SEAL candidates didn’t quit. They wanted to be a part of the high-performance culture of the military elite. There are countless stories of people, some against all odds, who survived, flourished, made it to the next day, week, or year; those stories serve as powerful reminders of the strength of persistence and determination.

    At OI, we strive to be IB learners and develop a profile that includes ten attributes to help become responsible members of a global community. One of those attributes is being a risk-taker. Risk-takers are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges. In other words, risk-takers have grit.

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    1. Yes!! Grit is the best word here. My father used to say it is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. We are capable of so much more than we think. Maybe that's what we should fear: imagine us at our full capacity! :D For me, these elite who have pushed beyond what I thought were insurmountable odds show us all the amazing power of human will and perseverance. In my own personal beliefs, I believe the source of that grit is unbeatable. Sometimes, that pushes me and some days it makes me groan, too! ;)

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  18. When reading the blog I had gotten stopped after the quote, "Have patience. "Everything is difficult before it is easy" (Saadi). I sat and thought about it, and it was very true. I thought about this in cheer experiences. Something that comes easy to me, like a back handspring, is not easy for everyone. The truth of that is, I remember when I had first learned how to do it, and it was so hard for me and I hated getting told to do it. But, I never gave up, with patience and dedication, it eventually become easier for me.

    I think the secret formula to success is wanting that goal enough. If you want something bad enough you will delete every distraction, work hard everyday, and never give up.

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    1. AMEN!! Yes, exactly! The will and desire. That is why any team can win on any given day. How bad do you want this? If it is bad enough, nothing can distract you.

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  19. The part that stood out to me the most was the in the second article, the idea of “learning to play with pain.” I think this is a point I often find myself at and I struggle to push past this feeling of pain and wanting nothing more than to quit because that is convenient and expected. This year I have started to workout more than I have in long time. A few years ago I used to be able to workout for long periods of time and I even remember feeling sorry for those who couldn’t find the motivation to keep working to achieve their goals. Now that I am older I find myself in the position of those who I once judged. I know what it feels like to struggle, and focus on the excuses and focus on how tired and stressed I am. I even focus on “I’ll just do it tomorrow” or another day. However, when I look past that, I find myself being more pleased and I can see results. There are days where I find it so difficult and give too much value to my excuses and when I do so, I loose my confidence, I don’t think right because all I am focused on is what I didn’t do or what I could have done. When I am able to remember why I started working out in the first place and why it’s so important to me, the pain is nothing in comparison to the rewards I know I will receive. Suddenly the pain is no longer pain but it feeds into my motivation to keep going and challenge myself because no one else can accomplish success for me.

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    1. Love that. That's what feeds the SEALS, the Olympic athlete, and the mother who is struggling to work two jobs to make a better life for her kids. I look at the pain as the enemy--it is that thing trying to stop me. You are right - it is perspective. Pain can be an excellent motivator and reminder of progress, too!

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  20. Something that stood out to me most after reading these two articles is the part about pushing yourself to the point of discomfort for a short period of time. I really liked how in the first article, the author connected that discomfort and pushing yourself to working out. It really made me understand the concept, and helped me relate it to other things. I also like how he said he ended up stronger now than he was 30 years ago. I think that really shows us how much hard work pays off, no matter the type of success. This lead me to thinking, people associate success with so many different things, and success to me may not be success to someone else. But that’s the interesting thing about it, because in the end you’re one step closer or better than before. My secret formula to success and pushing beyond my limits is thinking about how it would be once I reach my goal. Like if I get good grades in my classes, I’ll end up with getting into the school I want to, and maybe even getting scholarships. I think about what would happen if I push harder, and that’s what inspires me to push myself and work harder.

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  22. When reading through, I really connected with the idea of not working yourself too much but to do things in time and it will all come to a good outcome. Being in the full DP program I normally have a lot of different types of essays or presentations due in a week every so often. I normally try and get all of my big projects, the written tasks, biology lab reports, and etc, done at the beginning and then by the end the material will be done and I am able to relax. Relaxation I believe is a very important part of a stressful workload. When I am able to relax because I know everything is done I can then focus on the next coming project and reach the next goal of the next week.

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  23. The part that stands out to me the most is when he talks about having to be in the mud and the only thing that warmed them was singing together. This was cool to me because a sense of unity when going through things like that actually helps. I thought it was cool!This story also reflects my formula for success because I believe that everything in life is more miserable if you don't have friends and family to back you up and help you out.

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    1. I loved that, too! You know you are on another level when you can find the courage and strength to sing in the mud!

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  24. Mrs. Caraway this post is fantastic because it’s able to reach everyone and anyone that encounters it. We are all able to relate to wanting to be successful. The 10 life lessons from Admiral William McRaven stood out to me the most because I remember watching it in advisory and because it inspired me the most. As he listed off each tip I felt like absorbing his positivity and words! This is a speech I want to keep in the back of my head to try and remember in the long run when I stop to think my life isn’t on track. I don’t think i’ve taken the time to really asses a full plan to push me beyond my limits to achieve success. I like to think that I am good at taking it a day at a time and we can only worry about what’s in front of us and not so much what’s happening tomorrow or in the next 7 years. I don’t stress about it because stress is no bueno for the body! However this makes me want to slowly build myself up to be the hard worker I know I am deep down.

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  25. Both articles had a similar idea with pushing yourself through pain in order to achieve a greater reward. What really stood out to me was the mention in the first article of our primal instinct as humans to avoid pain. This stood out to me because one of my teacher's has discussed this very idea with us, and I am reminded how great of a point it is each and every time. It is pain that shapes us into who we are and makes us stronger, and yet we go out of our way to avoid pain. It seems like many people would prefer a simple life to the one they always dreamed of in order to avoid pain. Connecting this to an idea in the second article, it is in these times of pain and pushing ourselves to our limits that we truly begin to feel alive and/or change. Even if you don't achieve what you set out to achieve, you can still be proud of all you did and how you were able to push yourself and keep going for as long as you did. And maybe all your failures will one day be worth it, and for that reason you should keep going; you'll never know till you try (and get there).
    As for myself, I push myself out of fear of failing in life. I'm so scared of failure and embarassment that I will do whatever I can to avoid these situations. For example, in school, I try to ALWAYS get my work done because I don't want to feel embarassed or like I've failed for not doing an assignment. I also try to stay balanced between multiple activities and such so that my mind doesn't get tired or overrun by one thing. I'll tell myself that if I can get a certain amount of work done, I can spend time watching Netflix. This doesn't always work out, but giving myself breaks can help me be ready to refocus when I need to. It also stresses me out more when I'm not doing what I should be doing so I'm more motivated to do what I should be doing.

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    1. Netflix has lately become my gift to myself, too! I am so in my head all the time, escaping into a movie or book are a treat!
      I loved this part of what you wrote: "It is pain that shapes us into who we are and makes us stronger, and yet we go out of our way to avoid pain." SO counterintuitive, isn't it? But SOOOOO true!!

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  26. I loved both articles because they really inspire you. They both really inspire you, but my favorite was the 10 life lessons. Every tip he gave inspired me and gave me what I need to finish of the year strong.

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  27. The thing that really stands out to me from both of these articles are that my whole life I've always been taught and done to push myself physically with sports. Pushing my self in the weight room, on the field etc.. but this article made me realize you can also push your self mentally and I feel like we as people do it so much we do not think about often. And sometimes we need people to tell us that we need to push our selves mentally. I can honestly say that anything that you want in this world will require to push yourself.

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  28. What stood out to me in these articles is the part of pushing ourselves to our limit and go beyond until it hurts. Of course as the first articles stated out, we as humans do not like the thought of pain and do whatever we can to avoid it. However they also both stated that it would be best to not always avoid it. The person in the second article even told their own experience of this and the outcome was the achievements they received.
    My secret formula of success is to take breaks now and then but always put and try your hardest on assignments, projects, practice, or anything else that I know I will achieve something about it. I do this because I try so hard on many of these project/etc. that I ended up hurting myself mentally and sometimes physically. I push myself so hard that I end up stressing myself out. These breaks that I take help balance my schedule, and balance my mental stability. So then the next time I do another project, I'll have motivation and I won't cry over it because it's too stressful.

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  29. I like their point where we should not over work ourselves. I tend to be doing things back to back with minimal down time. I think that this is a great point because if I did have more free time then I could focus on myself. I think that both of the articles had the same idea of pushing through because there will be a great turnout in the end. This is a great message because it tends to be true in most cases.

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  30. What stood out to me in these articles was the idea that in order to reach your full potential you have to literally defy your nature. It just seems crazy to me and I think that's why the articles mention that working in short bursts is best, since defying nature is really hard to do. I think that both of these articles have really good advice even if it is hard to follow. My secret formula for success is to think about the future, and about what I will be able to accomplish if I just push myself a little farther.

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  31. So to me what stood out is stubbornness. Honestly. They call it pushing past the wall or pushing past the pain, but it is really just stubbornness. Pain is the body's signal to stop. When you keep going it may seem ridiculous to you and everyone else, but it will work. The short bursts also seem to be telling you to set limits. You can't push yourself to your breaking point every time; it isn't healthy. I read an article once about Teddy Roosevelt's productivity I can't remember if it was for this class or on my own). He was one of the most productive presidents and he spent the least time on work, because he focused so deeply. He literally put 100% of his energy into what he was doing at the time. This strategy should only be implemented once a week at first though because it literally drains you. Anyway, that's what I thought of when I read about the quick bursts. Here's the link to the article. http://www.businessinsider.com/theodore-roosevelt-productivity-trick-2016-1

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  32. The best thing about these articles, is the fact that they can reach out and touch those who really long for success and want to be dedicated. I think success is really all about dedication and hard work. If you want something and you want it badly enough, you're going to have to stick with it and keep working at it. Pushing yourself is definitely a big part of this. If you start to give up and slow down in the middle of what you're doing, it's hard to ever succeed at all. Being in my choir is something that I'm proud of and I'm always learning and improving. It's something inside of me that every time I step in that practice room I want so badly to keep singing, keep practicing, keep learning until I can't take it anymore. And even then I want to keep going.
    I also believe that to be successful you need to have passion for what you do. I remember, and I will never forget this, I was doing a championship workshop with my choir and our workshop teacher said "All the kids come to me saying 'this is my passion, this is what I want to do' now this is when I reply with confusion 'is this really your passion? or is it just a talent that you're good at?' the kids always look at me a little upset and confused and try to reply but I continue before they try to defend and I say 'Passion. The word passion comes from Latin root pati-, meaning suffering, or enduring. Thus, passion means to suffer. Passion, a form of pain that demands to be felt. The second root of this word is sacrifice. Are you willing to give up everything to be successful at this? If you are not then this is not your passion nor will you ever succeed in this profession. This needs to be your bread and butter, the thing that keeps you up at night, and the thing that wakes you up in the morning. Just the though of doing this should make you excited. If you really want this then be passionate about it.' The kids always look mind blown and need a while to think so I just walk away and laugh internally."
    This will always stick with me and I always use this when I second guess myself and wonder if I can really do this or if I can ever make it out there.
    I know that i'm not successful yet in others eyes, but I know everyday I'm succeeding already, and I know that I'm on my way to success.

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    1. He is sooo right. We use the word passion so often, it loses the intensity of its real meaning. There are many, many things I enjoy doing, but just a chosen few I am passionate about. Those are the things I call "the mountains you would die on." :)

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  33. As an athlete, and a golfer at that, I have to deal with pressure and failure on an almost daily basis. This winter, I had a moment when I straight up wanted to quit golf and never touch a golf club ever again. It was brief, but in that moment I truly wanted to give up. It was during soccer season, and I just couldn't practice as much as I wanted to. My tournament results reflected how little I practiced, and I was so overwhelmed my hair loss kicked into overdrive again. But over time, (over three months of a break from golf), I'm finally getting back and working on my game again. I can appreciate working until you achieve your goals, like both of the articles emphasized, but sometimes you really just need a break.
    My dad always insists its the "Vranesic" in me that desires to be better than I actually can accomplish. This inner pressure, not driven by anyone except myself, sitting on my shoulder yelling at me constantly, screaming "You'll never be good enough". I've tried for years to silence this voice, silence my inner fears, but I haven't quite conquered it yet. I still push myself until my hair falls out, and always in soccer I pushed until most of the time I puked on the field. I can't give up until I've satisfied myself, which usually comes at the cost of my health. My mother describes it sometimes, especially in soccer, as "self destructive". So no, I haven't found a secret to success yet, but trust me, I'm working on it. I'd like to implement the strategy of changing one thing first and then another from the second article to see if it will help my routine.

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    1. I think a lot of our stress is mental, and that is what we need to pay attention to. Some people have a very high stress threshold. This is part of the military training: to empty yourself of anxiety so that your mind is focused on the goal: not failure, not what ifs, not pain, just the feeling of success. I think that can be something you challenge yourself with: I must remove the fear first. Anxiety is the part of stress that is the deadly part. Pushing yourself to make a goal has a huge psychological component that must be addressed. I think McRaven is saying physically, we can push beyond what we believe is our 100%. Mentally is another story. That has to be tackled, too.

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  34. What standout to me the most in the articles was that mentioned that we as humans don't like to feel pain, and in a way are trained to avoid it at all cost. But maybe it would be beneficial for us to feel one of basic sences in living life once in awhile. I feel that maybe they are right about that, because going beyond our limits means feeling pain and pain is easily diminished by a simple pill. I think that my formula for success is to go do something with full dedication for a short amounts of time and then take a goodly deserved break.

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  35. What stands out to me the most in these two articles and the video is how the little things can leave the greatest impacts. I know for me personally, I wouldn't expect that making my bed would be make or break for the rest of my day. I wouldn't have expected that small action to have such an impact. I think that that idea goes along with my formula to success. You need to focus on the small things too as they could have great impacts. I think part of that also is enduring pain and giving everything you do your all.

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  36. I think the one thing that gave me a lasting impression was the being kind and supporting others part. Usually when someone gets really good at something they start only relying on themselves and it only creates more stress and workload, which eventually will lead to them failing. I'm always asked how did I get good enough at competitive gaming to be playing on a national level, and i always say "I dunno, just go ask for help, as much as you need, and just train with a bunch of people" in the long run it will always help you because not only are you making friends, but you're getting yourself better and those around you better.

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  37. One thing that really stood out to me was in article two, and the author said "I felt the exhaustive exhilaration of pushing myself to my limits." . This is a statement that I can relate too. Every time I am in a dance class, or running a dance for competition, I push my body to the point where I feel like my legs and lungs are going to collapse, but its an amazing feeling. I feel like I can accomplish anything when I push myself to that extreme.

    My secret formula to success and pushing myself past my limits is to visualize what I am trying to accomplish and my end goal. This makes it so that you remember what you are trying to accomplish, and what you will get out of it. Also, if I am really feeling defeated, I write down my goals and all the good things that will come from achieving these goals.

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  38. I felt like this post really spoke to me because at the end of every year I start to feel tired and stressed and ready to give up. I always push through to end the year on a high note, and right now with SATs, ACTs, Extended Essays, Extra Curricular activities and normal classes. I just don't feel like there is enough time in a day to do it all. My mom thinks I'm spread myself too thin but I don't want to let not only myself but everyone else I've made commitments to down.

    The first post reminded me of a Ted talk that my mother showed me about girt and how girt is the true key to success. You can have all the talent in the world but if you don't have grit to get you through the hard time you'll never get anywhere. I thing the thing that stuck out to me in all three were the fact that you need to push though pain to achieve your goal. I feel for most people that is the hardest part. We never want to go through pain nor do we want to see the people we love go through it. but in all our running away we never realize that the pain is what makes the pleasure so great.

    I think for me my formula (even though I'm still working on it and most times don't even take my own advice) is to remind myself to take it one assignment, one project, and one day at a time. I think that I get overwhelmed with all the stuff that I have to do and I expect myself to finish it right away, but I know I can't, so in feeling discouraged I start to procrastinate. But I have realized that when I take my assignments and to-do list one at a time, I start and make peace with what I couldn't complete, and I feel a lot better, organised, and productive.

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    1. YES!! Exactly!! That's attacking the mental part of it, too. Extreme, hyperfocus. One step at a time, and give that one step 100% of your focus. Don't think ahead to the what ifs, the next assignment, the 300 other things waiting to get down. Pacing is so important. You don't have to be the fastest; you have to be the one still standing at the end!

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  39. What stands out to me were more so the articles and what they had to say. I liked the concise and precise explanations and reasoning they had about pushing oneself to uncomfortable limits. It stood out to me because never have I really given a great amount of thought about the whole concept of pushing oneself until you literally--physically and mentally--cannot continue whatever you're doing. I had a vague impression of when and how people do that, but it was never a deliberate thought in my head. Additionally, I found it interesting how the first article mentioned that the best way to reach into that forty percent is by doing something in which you're passionate about. But this makes me question--if it is not concerning your passion, then is it worth it to endure the discomfort of pushing yourself in it?

    Either way, regarding my "secret formula for success," I'd have to say that I don't really have one. If it could be considered a formula for success, I guess I could say that why I'm successful is through the spirit of competition and not losing and becoming just another average person. So easily could I quit all honors classes and get passing C's in the norm-o classes, but that would make me average, a person who simply lives their life to get by. I guess some advice would be to never feel satisfied in whatever status you might already have, because you can be better.

    On the other hand, concerning a formula for "pushing beyond my limits," I definitely don't think I have one remotely. I know I don't fulfill or take full advantage of my intellectual and physical abilities. In my own way, I know sometimes I just do something to the extent that it'll be "just good enough" for that A (plus). Very rarely do I think I feel that strong discomfort of pushing into that 40%, especially regarding physical activity, but also mental activity as well. I too often succumb to the temptations of immediate gratification when I really should be working towards my life passions of music and language (or in the case of school, procrastinating to do my homework).

    Finally, although I feel moderately inspired to begin this process of improvement, I know that my lazy nature will struggle hard to win over my better-knowing nature as a human being. In the end, somebody has to accept being average. I just hope it won't be me.

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  40. What stood out to me from these articles is the idea of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. It's actually something that was told to me in Air Force Explorers which is a military preparatory program. Specifically it involved me going into the Special Tactics pipeline but it can be applied to many aspects of life. The things we want in this life aren't easily obtainable, if they were, everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't really make them special. I've learned that to achieve your ultimate goals, you're going to need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

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    1. Yep - again, changing the mindset. It is what Marianna said about using the discomfort as a motivator - a reminder that you are making progress. SO important for you on the path you wish to take!

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  41. What surprised me was that it said that we should expose ourselves to a short period of discomfort. I thought the longer the discomfort, the easier it would become to do the task given. I think it is easier to just throw yourself out into the discomfit and embrace it as much as you can to help make it easier. For me, to be successful, I put myself in the mindset of ‘It only matters what I think’ and it is okay to fail. If I fail, I get back up and too it again. Fall 1000 times, get up 1001 times is my motto. Also in my opinion, I think to be successful, you need to be okay with failure, judgement, and your own thoughts about yourself. Although it is important to take others opinions into consideration, it should not create a fatality within your identity and thoughts.

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  42. From the two articles, what stood out to me was 'Learning to Play with Pain'. That's a quality I can truly testify for. Once you learn to enjoy the pain, you truly lose the largest stoppage from achieving anything we may desire. People tend to give up on the path to their goals simply because they no longer can handle the pain they experience along the way. Once they learn to accept the pain, they will fight through the pain in a more headstrong manner than they ever could have. I personally have found myself to be a much more capable person now that I have learned to 'love pain'. I have become stronger than I ever have because I have learned to love the exhaustion that comes with intense exercise. When it comes to the heavy duty assignments we get, that everyone decides to complain and ultimately team up on, I find pleasure in struggling through them on my own and producing work better than the rest, sometimes simply to spite them. Either way, accepting and enjoying the pain has proven itself to be the greatest method of achieving success.

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  43. These two articles along with the blog were extremely captivating, and introduced many ideas that impacted me greatly. The one that stood out to me most was that we only reach a certain point of discomfort before we give up and stop pushing through pain. These articles both suggested not only pushing past any level of discomfort you've experienced, but overall defying human nature is such an intense and astonishing idea to me. I feel like I've been told my entire life to keep moving forward and work towards my goals, but the idea of resisting human nature is something that I had to stop and just sit and think about before I could continue with the article. I was truly able to connect with these articles and was reminded (especially at this point in the year) to not stop when I'm tired, but to stop when I'm done, since I'm the only person limiting myself.

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  44. What stood out to me most was a tip that was giving about striving for your goals in the first article. The author said to "push yourself to discomfort for relatively short and specific periods of time", which I though was kind of a different approach, as usually people tell you to push yourself until you cannot anymore. I liked this approach, as it keeps you from feeling as if you are struggling constantly and burning yourself out. It allows you to recharge and regroup to be able to work as hard as you can the next time. Along with this, I liked McRaven's message to start small, and take working up to your goals step by step. I found this to be realistic, and more inspiring to get a start on your goals.

    My secret formula to success is probably very similar to others but it is to remain positive, focused, and hopeful. I find that it is really easy to become discouraged and down on oneself when it comes to working towards something, and so I find that it is extremely important to remain positive and to have a positive outlook. Secondly, I find that it is important to remain focused and to know that as you work, your dreams are manifesting into reality. It is important to stay on track with where you are and to know that you will get to where you want to be, just keep working. Lastly, I always like to remain hopeful, and to know that I can achieve what I want to achieve and I will get to where I want to be. I try to teach myself that the pain will pass, and that ahead lies self achievement and growth.

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  46. Something that stood out to me in Admiral McRaven's speech was how he talked about the uniform inspections and how no matter what people did or how hard they tried to get their uniform completely right, the inspectors would find something wrong with it, never allowing them to get it right. He said that sometimes no matter how hard we try, we end up as a sugar cookie sometimes, and that's just how life is, so we need to get over being a sugar cookie and move on. I like this because obviously life won't always go the way we want or expect it to, so we need to get over the little things that are out of our control and move on to bigger and more important things that are within our control. If we do this, we will have the opportunity to change the world around us.

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  47. I struggle with writing about this topic. Not because I disagree with it in any way (EVERYONE should push themselves), but because I have seen people push themselves past empty (the real empty not the 40% empty) and I don't want others to do the same. However, I loved how the articles described the steps to pushing yourself further. Both articles stated to start in short bursts. This statement rings with truth, you can't just decide to run a marathon and do it that day. You could, but you wouldn't be successful and you would probably end up in the hospital due to exhaust. If you trained over a few months, however for the marathon you would be successful in completing it and not end up in the hospital. It is so important that when you push yourself you start out slow and increase day by day. This builds up your stamina to the pressure you feel in those times, but it also ensures you are healthily pushing yourself beyond your natural limits.

    I don't know that I have a secret to success, I was just always told to do my best because that was the right thing to do and it has stuck with me. Now, as I reflect on the past though, I realize my secret to success is to remember that what I do does not define me. This seems counterintuitive, but really it's not. If you think the goal you are setting is going to define you, the goal becomes larger and larger until it is unreachable. Failure of goals that define you is also extremely discouraging and can cause you to quit or over work yourself. When you remember what you do doesn't define you, however, you become more willing to take risks, play with the options, and become passionate about what you are pushing yourself to do. You even become okay with failing because you know it doesn't define you, it's just part of the process. This causes you to take longer and stronger strides until you reach your goal. Then, when you reach it, you want to do it again and strive even further.

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  48. What stands out to you? What is your secret formula for success and pushing beyond your limits?

    -What intrigued me the most about the two articles was the fact that pushing yourself to success is probably the most un-comforting thing you will endure, which I’ve always kind of thought but didn’t truly realize until the pushing yourself article. To see how much discomfort the author was to be physically successful, although the definition to me of success is not just physical. I think the most important is emotional and life success, that doesn't mean that being successful by training or eating right but it’s not the MOST important thing. My formula of success is being well rounded, and not just being focused on one thing. My formula to pushing your limits is to the point where it may hurt but it still feels great in the end, I don’t believe pushing your limits to the extent where you aren’t happy anymore, and I mean really not happy.

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  49. Something that stood out to me was from the first article, the concept of pushing back immediate gratifications and just doing what you know needs to be done. This stood out to me because this is one of my biggest problems and I can assume many others can relate to it too. This is also a concept that can be interpreted and applied to many of the other concepts because they all involve just going out and DOING the thing you don't want to do, or pushing yourself through the pain you don't want to go through. This application to other concepts makes this one super critical to remember as it is one of the few things you need/have to remember.
    I'm not sure if I really have a secret technique for pushing past your limits. My strategy for success is to have a strong work ethic and to make sure that you actually have a WANT to get better and finish that goal. Having the passion for something, I've found out, makes that certain something a lot easier to achieve and do because it stops feeling like a burden but more like an obligation or assignment. I'm definitely not the best at these methods or techniques but I will definitely give them a try now and put forth more effort into it.

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  50. Reading the articles and watching the video, I was really struck by the different points of view ~ it's always one thing to be told 'Finish Strong!', but it's another to be shown what the results are. However, reading the articles, I noticed that both stressed the importance of pushing your limits in SHORT BURSTS. I find this especially important because, from experience, I can easily tell you that yes, pushing yourself is good, and the results long-term are even better, but you need to care about your health and safety. Far too often, people decide to try to go above and beyond, but end up harming themselves in the process, so it's always important to know the limit of pushing your limits, so to speak.

    That being said, my recipe for success and pushing limits is mostly composed of prioritization and time management. Carry a planner so that you can organize your duties. Take care of the most pressing matters first, then move on to where you have more wiggle room. Make sure to take care of life's priorities as well; I always have certain times set aside to enjoy with my family, to eat, and to wind down from higher-level topics (it's not fun going to bed after late studying for biology only to frequently wake up murmuring about chloroplasts). Be realistic in estimating your time schedule and abilities, but aim high. Like W. Clement Stone said, "Aim for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

    "Limits, like fear, is often an illusion." ~ Michael Jordan
    "Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't." ~Unknown

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  51. One thing that stood out to me between the two articles is that they were similar in many ways as well as a bit different in how they chose to explain themselves of why they pushed themselves to the limit and etc. Within the two articles, it also brought up the idea that pushing yourself may bring discomfort although it may be better in the end. I both agree and disagree with that specific statement, depending on the situation. For example, you wouldn't want to push yourself too hard if there are going to be worse consequences in the end. It's not bad to push yourself but you have to make sure to set limits for yourself so there isn't anything bad that happens in the process.

    I suppose what I do to push myself to success is to stay focuses on my main goals that I set for myself. Sometimes I find it quite difficult to stay motivated in order to pursue my goals but if there is something good waiting for me on the other side, I find it a lot easier to push myself to the limit. Or at least, to say that I tried, for in my opinion, the fact that you attempted to push yourself and achieve your goal and to put in effort is what counts!

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  52. Supporting others and remaining kind is one of the things that stood out to me. Too often, when people start to over work themselves, they forget about the small things that matter. Friends, family, and remaining kind. I think that is always important and that it is a quality that should remain intact regardless of ones situation. Not only this, but to work yourself in short-bursts is also a good idea, I feel like if more people did it this way the life that they live would be less stressful and hold more time.

    I dont really have a secret. If I have an interest in something, Ill put forth a strong work ethic, a lot of participation, and more. If I don't care for a subject, then I usually procrastinate (not good) however, that is one reason I cant wait for college. Ill be able to study what I want to study and will be that more engaged. I have a goal in mind, and I have every intention of reaching that goal no matter what obstacles are set before me.

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  53. What stood out to me is how important the little things are. If you think about it, every big goal is made of smaller goals. For example, I want to buy a car. To achieve that huge goal I must get a job, set up a savings account, save money, keep my insurance low, work on my credit, etc. If I achieve all these small goals than my big goal isn't very difficult at all. Doing the little things really matters.
    For me, I believe telling yourself its a possibility you may fail, but believing that you won't let yourself fail, is the best way to achieve a goal. If you expect to fail, you will fall short almost every time. But if you know theres a possibility but believe in yourself, then I believe you can achieve anything. This is the out look I've had through highschool and it has worked well. Now if I mix in the idea of the little things, I can do much better. If I focus on all the little goals then my big goals will be right on the horizon.

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  54. An aspect of the articles that really stood out to me is needing to be able to push through pain and keep striving for more. This is something I definitely can agree with as I feel that to get to that next level you need to be able to power through pain and discomfort at some point in your journey. I feel like my formula for success is just holding myself to very high standards and having others hold me to the same, when other people expect something of me I am more likely to follow through so I don't disappoint them.

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  55. The thing that stood out to me is how one little thing can change the whole world. Admiral William H. McRaven used the example of making his bed then completing more and more little things. This is mainly common sense; I understand this by food, me and food get along so in order to eat a full plate of food you'll have to take small bites to finish. Same with Admiral McRaven's point start small to accomplish something big.

    I don't really have a secret or a way to be successful in something. If I face a challenge I find a strategical way to attack it and to get it done in a timely manner. I've been getting better at time management. Which I guess in a way is a key to be successful.

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  56. The thing that stood out to me in each article was that they listed steps in order for you to push yourself beyond your limits in order to achieve our greatness, but truthfully I don’t believe that those steps honestly work. They do offer motivation but without motivation and dedication, you not cannot truly push yourself beyond your limits. You have to really want something in order to reach that “40 %”. For example in middle school I was apart of the orchestra and really wanted to be in 1st chair, which is the ultimate seat. Therefore I pushed myself every single day in that class, and participated in before and after school practice until that practice finally paid off in 7th grade and I became 1st chair.I had to unlock that 40% in order to get to where I wanted to be.

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  57. What stands out to me is the fact that to reach our goals we unconsciously set up a plan for ourselves to achieve that goal. It's interesting for me to know this and i have never realized that people did this and while they are trying to achieve said goal the plan always changes with every new situation that presents itself.
    My secret formula to success and pushing myself is my inner competitive self. I always constantly compare myself to others and push myself to beat them and now with my military career starting soon I feel that I will need this even more than ever because it will help me succeed where others will fail and I can push myself past my limits

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  58. What stood out to me was the fact that even the simplest of tasks and striving to complete them can help you become more successful and feel good. I can see how that works in my own life. When my bedroom gets messy, I find it harder for me to get things done sometimes. When my room is clean, I find it much easier for me to focus on getting things done.

    I guess to push myself to success is imagining how relieved I'll be when something gets done. I guess I look at the long term effects of what I'm trying to accomplish. Pushing beyond my limits, however, is a little harder for me to achieve. It's harder for me to reach outside my comfort zone on my own. I guess it goes back to my imagining how happy I'll be when I finally succeed at what I'm pushing myself to do. I still would definitely not consider it one of my stronger points.

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  59. What stands out to me is how amazed I am with the human body as a whole. When they do military training like that, as you said earlier, they're pushing you to the point to where you have to use your mind to move forward. Not your muscles. Your mind. I love how you can be working out and be to the point of falling on the ground, but a few words from that motivational song you're listening to fills your muscles with the vigor to complete another set.

    To push myself, most of the time I use the fuel of doubt. Every time I get close to the point of giving up, I think of all of the comments naysayers have said to me in the past and it makes me angry. Angry enough to overcome the barriers of discomfort so I can go back to those people later on down the road, show them my results, and make them sorry they ever doubted me. I take many things as a challenge on a day to day basis because when someone tells me that I can't do something, it brings out my full potential. Thinking about my goals and my mom telling me to achieve them also helps me. Every time I say I want something, but it doesn't seem like I'm really doing anything about it, my mom always says "Well then get up and DO SOMETHING about it!". I use the motivation of my mom holding me to a high standard and trying to make her proud to push me on a day to day basis because she has given me everything she's had to raise me. Now it's my turn to not let her down.

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  60. Reading Tony Schwartz's article, the bit about our tendency to avoid pain and pursue pleasure stood out to me the most. I read about this phenomenon before, and though I am quite skeptical about conclusions made in the field of psychology, I can't disagree with how powerful this is. Robert A. Wilson in his book Prometheus Rising details our pleasure/pain instincts within what he calls the first and most simple circuit of our brains. Looking at our brains as computers, our "circuits" are responsible for different functions and of located at different parts of the brain. When we learn something new, overcome challenges, or otherwise grow as a person, we develop these circuits and afterwards are better for it. Looking at our brains like this motivates me to overcome difficulties and succeed because even drudge work seems beneficial and satisfying when you know its going to make you a better human being.

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  61. I really liked both articles, they are very inspiring and encouraging to pursue all goals you may have. What stood out to me the most was that both articles talked about pushing yourself little by little because if you push yourself too much you can hurt yourself and I 100% agree with this. I try to push myself too much way too often and it only ends up getting me stressed or not doing what it is I'm doing correctly, or I even may start to doubt myself. When it comes to pushing to my limits my secret formula is to think of what the results in the end will be, think of what I could accomplish if I push myself.

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  62. Tony Schwartz’ article stood out to me a lot. I do believe the main concern for my generation is happiness and pursuing pleasure. Pursuing small things for happiness may not always be the easiest and other things can get in the way, but persevering for a goal that you have set is very important. For me personally, I rely on things I know make me happy and I talk to other people about them. I always try to push myself but I do need a nit more motivation.

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  63. The thing that struck out to me is the amount of distractions that go against our plans when we are attempting to achieve a goal, the amount of excuses that we just slide into even the most concrete of plans. It astounds me that I have never seen before just how many excuses are found even subconsciously. Whether it be that the time is not right, or I did a lot earlier and other such things, it draws me into awesome wonder as to the mental aspect to attain a goal is so predominate in any situation. I always plan to work harder, push faster and yet it is always another excuse when I miss it, maybe we should focus on the mental aspect a bit more.

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  64. What stood out to me the most was that they listed steps for you to push yourself beyond your limits , but I don’t think that those steps honestly work. I think that without self motivation and dedication, you not can't really push yourself. You have to really want something in order to reach that extra 40%. For example, when I was in the 5th grade i took choir. My teacher was giving out solos to the best singers and I really wanted one. I motivated myself to practice everyday to make my voice better. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do and in the end it payed off because I received a solo for our choir concert.

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  65. Superb and awesome post about "BEYOND THAT FORTY PERCENT: PUSHING YOURSELF TO ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE"

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  66. What I found most interesting about the first article is that our mind tricks us into thinking we've hit out limits long before we actually do. The article also talks about how we avoid pain and move towards pleasure. I agree with the author's advice on how to strengthen yourself and push beyond your limits: minimize temptation, push yourself to discomfort for a short period of time, and to build energy. Although, I may not live by these tips, I hope that I can one day. When looking at the second article, I also found the four steps very helpful - more than the first one. The second article felt more motivational to me, along with McRaven's speech.

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  67. What stands out to me is how powerful our mind is, it's is way more powerful than we give it credit for. Our mind is in control of so much and is capable of so much more than we allow. It really surprised me how in the second article one they started pushing themselves to their true limit, while exercising, it started to reflect in their everyday lives without realizing. My secret formula for success is, when I'm doing something difficult, to try and get to the point where I'm about to cry. I've found out over the years that when I get to the point of wanting to/actually crying and I keep pushing, then I keep going until I am finished with what I need to get done or I absolutely can do no more. I don't use this secret formula as much as I should but when I do it all works out for the best.

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