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40% Rule Makes You Go Further And Better
[Image: navy-seal-mountain-warfare-2.jpg?w=840&h=485&crop=1]

99% of people who start a marathon finish. It’s a surprising number, I know, but there’s a reason that it’s so high. It’s called the 40% Rule, a concept used by Navy SEALs to increase mental toughness.
Spanx you very much

In his latest video on Big Think, Marquis Jet founder Jesse Itzler (and husband to the creator of Spanx) tells the story of the time he ran a 100-mile race alongside a 260-pound Navy SEAL:
“I first met “SEAL” at a 100-mile run in San Diego and I was running this race as part of a six-person relay team with friends and he was running the entire race by himself,” Itzler said.
“Who is this guy? I’ve never seen anything like it. And during the race, I kept an eye on him and around mile 70—he weighed probably 260 pounds, which is quite large for an ultra runner—he had broken all the small bones in both of his feet and had kidney damage and he finished the race.”
After the race, Itzler did what any billionaire would do: he hired the SEAL to live with him and his family to teach mental toughness.
“I asked him to come live with my family and I for a month…I was doing the same thing every day like so many of us. Wake up; go to work; come home, you know; have dinner; repeat. And I just wanted to get off autopilot. And I thought that he would be a great way to get in good shape, but also to just mix up my routine and get better.”
The 40% rule

While living with Itzler and his family, the SEAL taught him the 40% rule.
“He would say that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done. And he had a motto: If it doesn’t suck we don’t do it. And that was his way of forcing us to get uncomfortable to figure out what our baseline was and what our comfort level was and just turning it upside-down.”
The 40% rule, the SEAL explained, is the reason why even though most people hit a wall at mile 16 during a marathon, they’re still able to finish.
Itzler wrote about experiencing the 40% rule the very first day that the SEAL moved in with him.

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