I am contemplating the heroes of our world, and how unique and rare acts of Heroism are.
Being Heroic is conjuring hope where there is none. We need heroes to show us a better world. Not a better world we know that could exist but a world that we didn’t know can exist.
Literature offers many examples of heroic characters, who by their strength or their wiles or both overcame almost impossible obstacles. In Greek mythology, Hercules was given seven seemingly impossible tasks that he completed with heroic daring, Achilles was a warrior whose accomplishments in battle were heroic, and Odysseus showed his heroic qualities as he conquered monsters and men in his journey home.
I want to highlight one such “little known” hero of our time - Witold Pilecki.
Pilecki volunteered in 1940 to be imprisoned in Auschwitz (link) to organize a resistance movement and send out information about it.
Witold's Report, also known as Pilecki's Report, is a report about the Auschwitz concentration camp written in 1943 by Witold Pilecki, a Polish military officer and agent of the Polish resistance. His was the first comprehensive record of a Holocaust death camp to be obtained by the Allies. He escaped from the camp in April 1943.
The report includes details about the gas chambers, "Selektion" and the sterilization experiments. It states that there were three crematoria in Auschwitz II able to cremate 8000 people daily.
Few speak to the immutable truth about what separates top performers from the rest. I’m talking about the people who can do more, push harder, and endure more than what we commonly believe to be possible.
This rare trait goes by many names; grit, perseverance, dedication, ambition, but the name that I think best describes it is “the 40% rule.”
The idea that when you believe you’ve reached your absolute limit, you’ve only tapped into about 40% of what you’re truly capable of. The barrier isn’t the body. It’s the mind.’
The 40% rule is simple: When your mind is telling you that you’re done, that you’re exhausted, that you cannot possibly go any further, you’re only actually 40% done.
The 40% rule reminds us that no matter how exhausted we might feel, it is always possible to draw on an untapped reserve of energy, motivation, and drive that we all possess.
The 40% rule in entrepreneurship.
Winston Churchill once remarked that “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
I’ve never come across a more appropriate description of entrepreneurship. Success isn’t a matter of being smarter or tougher than anyone else. It’s a matter of never giving up.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve faced utter devastation more times than I care to remember. Products have failed, deals have been lost, and I’ve flat-out run out of money more than once.
Every manner of roadblock and challenge has been thrown in front of me, but I’ve never given up. Whenever I feel like I simply can’t go on, and there have been several times, I remind myself that I’m not even halfway done.
If I’ve learned anything along my entrepreneurial journey, it’s that the human spirit is capable of far more than we can imagine.
The trouble is that our society, especially those of us so-called “millennials” who were born after 1980, have been taught to run from hardship.
Pain and suffering are things to be avoided at all cost, and if something is too difficult, we simply run away. However, the path to greatness is paved with pain and suffering. Whether we’re talking about entrepreneurship, sports, relationships, or parenting, nothing of value is ever easy.
When we fail to push ourselves and accept pain in our lives, we inadvertently reject things of true value and substance.
The 40% rule is something we should all live by, whether in business or life in general. All of us can learn to dig deeper and push ourselves farther than we ever thought possible.
Only by doing so will we be able to stumble from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm, as Churchill said.
It turns out that the real secret to success is as simple as it is both brutal and difficult to master.
The placebo effect has a big impact on sports performance. That is, if you think something will improve your performance, it probably will. That suggests that a good portion of your strength and toughness is mental, not physical.
Determination is a muscle that grows stronger the more it is exercised.
Reference: That's what Jesse Itzler learned when a SEAL moved into his house for a month. (The best-selling Living With a SEAL is based on that experience.)
Wisdom/What I am reading
Atomic Habits - James Clear You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your system.
A definitive guide to break bad behaviors and adopt good ones in four steps, showing you how small, incremental, everyday routines compound and add up to massive, positive change over time.
Habits are not a finishline to be crossed they are a lifestyle to be lived by. breaking down every task into its basic elements and then improving each by just 1% - An aggregation of marginal gains where you search for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do. Reference: British cycling team
We don’t notice the tiny incremental changes but when compounded they make for powerful changes for example, if an aircraft leaving LAX heading to NYC moved by 3 degrees it will end up in Washington DC.
Your situation is a lagging measure of your current habits such as your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits.
Time magnifies the margin between success and failure.
We must have a good habit long enough to breakthrough the passage of latent potential and see meaningful results.
There are 4 stages of habit creation: cue, craving, response and reward.
How to make good habits? Make the above 4 stages effortless - obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying.
Pointing and calling - like Japanese railways, reduced mistakes by 85% it raises the level of awareness - similar to a ticket system -
Planning a particular action makes it happen - idea - make every person write down their week - implementation intention
Habit stacking - takin 1 action leads to. other similar actions to compliment. that 1 action - Diderot effect. Vision forms 90% of our sensory queues
Set a specific place for a habit - only work in the study
To eliminate bad habits - change the environment - don’t keep chocolate visible you won’t crave it
Motion vs action - motion is strategy and deciding.... action is doing
Create an environment where doing the right thing is the easiest thing Let’s see what it takes to form new habits by learning from a true habit master!
Book can be found here: https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits
Emerson wrote, “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the self-reliance of every one of its members.” People don’t like it when other people change or do something that makes them feel awkward or insecure. Pushing ourselves to reach our own greatness threatens the complacency of those around us, shining a light on their own squashed dreams and failed potential. In many cases, these people lash out. It makes them question themselves, which is difficult for most to handle.
Simple fact of life: if you want to do something incredible, something that makes you stand out above the rest, then you have to become comfortable being different from the rest. People will think you’re weird, crazy, selfish, arrogant, irresponsible, obnoxious, stupid, disrespectful, fat, insecure, ugly, shallow, etc.
Those closest to you will often become the harshest. If you have weak boundaries or are not confident with your own ideas and desires, then you’re not going to make it very far.
Also: The brilliant physicist and Noble Prize winner, Richard Feynman, on dealing with the expectations of others:
"You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish.
I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing."
Source: Surely you’re joking mr Feynman
whose expectations are you trying to fulfil yours or someone else’s?
Widgets that impress me
Wearables are electronic technology or devices incorporated into items that can be comfortably worn on the body. These wearable devices are used for tracking information in real time. They have motion sensors that take the snapshot of your day to day activity and sync them with mobile devices or laptop computers. After the invention of smartphones, wearable electronics are the next big innovation in the world of technology. From Smart Watches and headphones to Meditation Headbands, glasses and Smart Clothing, Tech wearables have created a whole new movement.
These wearable devices were used in the field of military technology long before they entered the consumer market. These devices were an integral part of the medical and healthcare sector in the military forces. Devices like ‘Wearable Motherboards’ or ‘Smart Shirts’ used to monitor the health and wellbeing of the patients and send back information to the hub station in real time. Wearable technology aims to influence the fields of health and medicine, fitness, aging, disability, education, transportation, enterprise, finance, gaming, music, etc. The goal is to smoothly enter the daily lives of individuals and become a functional part of them. Wearable-band shipments grew 65%, year over year for companies like Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, and Fitbit (now owned by Google). New numbers from Gartner mark another major increase for global wearable spending in 2020. Wearable spending forecasted to increase by 20% in 2020. Gartner predicts continued spending growth in wearables for 2021, with spending hitting $62.9 billion.
A recent study conducted by researchers from Boston University this year found that 70-year-old participants in a clinical trial performed certain memory tasks as well as 20-year-olds after exposure to mild electrical neurostimulation. Humm, a graduate of the Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator program, has raised $2.6 million to commercialize its own product - wearable patches ; which help improve memory capacity.
During the company’s recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook noted the company’s wearable division now rivals the size of a Fortune 500 company. Apple’s wearable fortunes come from two distinct sub-categories: more mature wrist-worn devices that include smartwatches and wearable trackers (and all of the overlap therein) and fully wireless earbuds or “hearables,” as they’re sometimes known.
What’s the potential and future of this industry? From fitness tracking, seamless payments, remote diagnosis with your medical practitioner or visual walkthroughs of buildings you have never physically visited; the possibilities are endless. We will soon be able to process everyday tasks with smart wearable technology. Imagine approaching your home’s door with groceries in hand, and your wearable signals the door’s smart lock to unlock!
The industry in its current state is very nascent, technologists and users alike are still experimenting with various use cases.