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5 Scientifically Proven Ways To Unleash Your Limitless Potential

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Unleashing Greatness

You are limitless.  And I don’t mean that in a “woo woo” law of attraction kind of way.  Science says we have not yet reached the limits of human performance.  Within you, lies the ability to run a 4-minute mile, become a world-class concert pianist, master quantum mechanics, build a hundred-million-dollar business or achieve any other goal you want to accomplish.

The catch? It might take 20 years of hard, focused work and sacrifices to accomplish the above goals. Of course, you might not want to dedicate the next 20 years of your life to becoming the best in your field. You might be satisfied to get in the best shape of your life while building a successful 7-figure business and want to stop there. That’s fine.      

Regardless, the process of getting better is always the same. The way a couch potato goes from taking an hour to walk a mile to being able to run one in 10-minutes is the same way one would go from running a 10-minute mile to running a 4-minute mile. The latter goals just takes much longer to accomplish.

So what does it take to unleash your limitless potential?  Below are 5 scientifically proven ways for doing this:

1. Adopt A Limitless Mindset

We have not yet discovered the limits to what we are capable of accomplishing. The only exceptions are physical limits. For example, my mother who stands 4’9” is never going to dunk a basketball no matter how hard she trains.

Other than that, anything is possible.  We must embrace this mindset if we are to become limitless.  A good way to install this mindset is to look for evidence that anything you want to achieve can be achieved.  Look for people who have done what you want to do and use them not just as inspiration, but as tangible evidence that you can accomplish – and even surpass – what they accomplished.

You’ll find in 99.999% of all cases that these people were not any more gifted or special than you.  Instead, they worked hard for a long period of time to master their crafts.  

“I cannot make my days longer, so I strive to make them better” – Paul Theroux

2. Always Move Past Your Comfort Zone  

You might be familiar with the concept of “deliberate practice” popularized by the world’s leading authority on expert performance, Anders Ericsson.  This is focused practice with the goal of improving performance.  For it to be effective, you must always push past the point in which you are comfortable.  It should be mentally taxing. If it’s easy, you’re not getting any better.

Failure to expand their comfort zones is why most people never reach the levels of success they desire.  Regardless of if you want to perform better in your career or at a hobby, the only way to improve is to consistently move past your comfort zone.

3. Build Your “Focus” Muscles

Top performers are able to do a maximum of about four hours of focused, deliberate work per day.  But if you’re not used to this kind of work and you say to yourself, “Tomorrow I’m going to do four hours of focused work” you will be setting yourself up for failure.

We need to build our “focus muscles” in the same way that a bodybuilders build their muscles: by starting where we are and progressively adding “stress” so the muscles expand.  Begin by focusing on your work for an hour without distraction and build from there.    

4. Train Like An Athlete (Even If You Work At A Desk All Day)

Just like top athletes, to maximize our potential we must exercise, eat a nutritious diet, and get sufficient sleep.  These building blocks must be in place in order for us to have energy throughout the day to do our focused work.  Studies also show that these three increase brain health, enhancing our ability to focus and concentrate.

5. Get Gritty

Psychologist Angela Duckworth wrote extensively about the science of “grit” in her book of the same name.  She describes it as a combination of passion plus perseverance.  In order for you to unleash your limitless potential you need passion and perseverance to stay committed to your goal.

People fail to reach their potential because they give up too easily.  You must be willing to keep at it in the toughest of times.  It’s difficult to do this without passion, which is best found when you’re working towards a worthwhile goal with a purpose beyond just your personal satisfaction.  This kind of passion is what separates the merely successful from the ultra-high achievers who change the world.

“Above everything else I’ve done, I’ve always said I’ve had more guts than I’ve got talent.” ― Dolly Parton

Unleashing your limitless potential is a prime example of something that’s simple but not easy.  If you apply these strategies to a goal worth pursuing, you will become an embodiment of success and significance.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these strategies can you apply today to become limitless? Let me know by commenting below!
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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jaspreet M

    Mar 8, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Couldn’t agree more! The inputs you have presented in your article are spot on, specially the order in which you have sequenced them.

    I believe that the key to attaining limitless potential starts and ends with your mind, specially the subconscious mind. Tapping into our subconscious mind requires consistent effort in sync with one’s ambitions.

    And whatever you have written about “Focus” – I cannot stress the importance for it. It is a MUST. For anyone reading this blog, take action on these 5 points starting today!

  2. Sulaiman Okunuga

    Dec 26, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Focus is it, also exercise, food and sleep. I have discovered that the latter help the former. Good food and sleep with exercise help brain function and general well being. This makes one to be able to focus. Thanks for the write up, I’m helped.

  3. Alex Liang

    Nov 1, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan

    Words to live by.

    Thanks for the article.

  4. Roderick

    Oct 28, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I’m trying to break out of that habit of being lazy, I find this article informative

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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willpower
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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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