How to Achieve Unachievable with Navy SEALs

 

I believe people don’t use their full potential. According to the urban myth, people use only 10% of their brainpower. Although it is not true, apparently, we tend to use our 100% very rarely, almost never.

Think of the time you go to bed. Do you think, if you used your power fully, it would take you 30 minutes to fell asleep? This is exactly what Jocko Willink, who was a Navy SEAL commander, mentions in his podcast. He tries to squeeze the day as much as possible so that when he goes to bed, he can feel the day and the satisfaction he did his best.

How often do you feel that? How often do you go to bed knowing you completely run out of fuel?

If you have plenty of plates to spin on a stick, so to speak, how do you make sure all of them keep spinning. And what do you do if you think you are too tired and start dropping one of them?

For me, the question is the matter of mental toughness. Are you willing to go the extra mile to keep everything working?

Navy SEALs, which I admire for their toughness, have a rule called 40% rule.

It is very simple.

When you think you are done, you are just 40% done. 

Although I couldn’t find any scientific research to back the rule, I believe it is a strong motivator. And I can tell you, it works. After I have heard about the approach, I have tested it in my training and work. I have reached results I would have neverexpectedt.

So, next time you think you are done, just shut up and keep the plates spinning.

 

 

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4 Things to Focus on When Training for Marathon

Although marathon is about running, it is far more complex, like everything in life.

I believe there are 4 main things one has to focus on when preparing for a marathon. If you are also planning to run the race, I would recommend you working on those

 

Mind

I often think when training and working that it is not only our legs and hands that do the job. It is thanks to our mental toughness that we go through hard times to reach our goals. That’s why it’s crucial to make ourselves familiar with discomfort to gain extra mental toughness.

How to train: First, I would recommend you reading some books or listening to the podcasts about the matter. At the same time, just practice being uncomfortable. Either by taking a cold shower, getting up from bed earlier than you should, doing extra 5 pushups. Step by step, you will get into the habit of stretching your limits.

Sport is the best way to learn discipline and go beyond average.

 

Lungs

I don’t know if you have ever done any sports, but the efficiency of you breathing is a very important aspect of your performance. Running is not only about your strength. If it was, bodybuilders would be the best runners ever thanks to their musculature. Even if you had the most shredded legs, you could still run out of breath during an easy run.

How to train: Swimming is one of the best ways to improve on this. However, treat it only as the addition to your trainings rather than the main focus. When you go for long, steady runs, you are also improving on this.

Personally, I get really bored when swimming so it is also a mental training!

 

Legs

At the same time, you cannot neglect your legs. It can be visible when alternating between sports how you can have strong mental toughness and lungs, but you can still suffer. You will have the willingness to go faster, and your breath will indicate that you could potentially do this, but your legs will protest the decision.

There are plenty of muscles there, that’s why you have to diversify your training. Work on the ones responsible for running long distances, running the sprints, climbing, keeping up the fast pace for a long time etc. I will not dwell on the details now.

How to train: There are so many resources explaining the techniques and training types, that as an amateur, I should just point you to them. As it comes to my trainings, I do long runs, uphills, sprints, tempo runs etc. to make sure all the muscle fibres in my legs are developed properly.

Runnig is the key in the marathon training. It has to be done even in the toughest weather conditions.

Body

One of the mistakes marathon runners do is focusing only on their legs. At the end, they are our main motor. However, every single motion counts and we need to make sure our whole body is developed properly to work as efficiently as possible. For example, it’s not a coincidence that almost all the sportsman have great abs. They are very important when running since they help to keep your body posture straight. However, remember to train equally your back muscles for the right balance.

How to train: Every day, try to spend at least 15 minutes on general exercises. I used to have a rule of doing 100 pushups in total a day, for example in series of 20 interrupted by abs training. Now I try to do 250 daily with abs, triceps and other body parts workouts.

Preparing for the marathon is not only about running. 

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Preparing for Marathon Will Make You More Productive – Experiment

Recently I have stumbled upon many comments praising the power of regular training sessions. Apparently, because of the tight schedule, people tend to be more efficient with their work. I’ve decided to test it.

Marathon is apparently one of those things that everyone should do once in their lifetime. Personally, I don’t believe in slogans like that. Yet, it has always been on my bucket list and I have decided to cross it out soon.

When exactly?

In 2 months…

It is not something people usually recommend, but hey, what is the worst thing that can happen, right? (except a sudden death actually…) As it comes to the place, there are two options that I will decide from, later on. Both are happening the same weekend of November 4-5, 2017.

The options are Thames Meander Marathon in London or Porto Marathon in Portugal. The first one is just 1 hour tube ride from my house and it goes through the most beautiful parts of London. The other one would cost me £100 more for transport and hotel, but then, it’s Portugal…

Running marathon along a Portuguese cost – the dream worth extra £100?

Why Am I Doing This?

There are actually plenty of reasons why I have decided to run a marathon in 2 months.

  1. As for now, I have been doing pretty well with the year plan I prepared for 2017 in December. However, one of the goals for this year is to cross out something from my Bucket List, and believe it or not, running a marathon is the easiest thing on the list.
  2. Recently I have become a massive fan of military ways of teaching and practising mental toughness and pushing one to the limits. One of the recommendations an interviewed Navy SEALS mentioned was to set a challenge, such as a running a marathon, every year, to push yourself and discover your limits.
  3. As I mentioned in the beginning, apparently scheduled training adds a routine to your life which makes you more productive. I am currently preparing a crowdfunding campaign for my fashion brand and I am involved in other projects, so I want to test if preparing for the marathon will actually make me more efficient. After I have read the story of Joel on CrowdfundingUncut, I knew I have to give it a go.
  4. Since I am vegetarian, I want to prove my meat-eating friends wrong since they don’t believe you can train hard and skip meat. I have been veggie for 5 years which means that last time I have competed in a race, I was a meat-eater. I wonder how turning veggie will influence my endurance.

 

Am I a Couch Potato?

I have to disappoint you. It is not another story of a couch potato turning marathon runner. Although I haven’t competed in a sporting event in ages, I keep training on a regular basis almost every day.

For around half of my life I have been doing cycling and a few years ago I was even racing on the road. My abs looked good, my body fat was oscillating around 6%, and I had great fun. I could run 80km a week…

However, due to some decisions I had to make, some better than others, I gained 15 kg of body mass, I got more muscular, my abs are covered in a warm layer of fat, and doing few uphills on Primrose Hill makes me want to die.

I may not be the fittest person in London, but how many guys have their chest featured in the news!

Also, over the last three years, I haven’t had my road bike around (until recently) and I had a big injury that didn’t allow me to run for around a year. That’s why all of my training was strength oriented in the gym. Last time I run 20km was 2 years ago…

 

My Equipment

I am not a gadget guy at all. I simply use Endomondo on my iPhone to measure the distance and I listen to books on Audible during training. Having said that, my legs are prone to injuries so I make sure my shoes are always the best for my feet type (overpronation if you need to know). And, I occasionally use CEP compression socks for the recovery purposes.

CEP compression socks are the best running purchase I have ever made. (Photo credit: ©CEP)

What Am I Planning to Achieve?

I am a big fan of stretching goals. For example, if you have to sell 100 books, it is better to focus on selling 1000 books. It changes the perspective and the initial target becomes more reachable. When I was at the peak of my form, I could run half-marathon in less than 1 h 20 min. That’s why I was always estimating my marathon time in less than 3 hours. That’s why my goal is going to be 3 h 15 min. With that as a perspective, “just finishing” sounds easier!

 

What Is There For You?

I am going to write updates about the progress every day, including some mental toughness stuff I dig out from Navy SEALS interviews. Perhaps after seeing my journey, you will decide to start moving as well? For more motivation and updates, you can also follow me on Instagram.

Sounds good?

You can also join my mailing list to keep updated with the progress.



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“Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff

“The purpose of an elevator pitch is to describe a situation or solution so compelling that the person you’re with wants to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.”

~ Seth Godin

We make deals and sell all the time without even realising it. Selling is not only about the tangible items but it is about your ideas, decisions etc.

That’s why it is very important to know, how you can succeed with those.

“Pitch Anything” is a comprehensive guide written by an expert in making great deals. I found it actually so useful that I had to re-listen it (yeah, have I ever mentioned I mostly listen to books on Audible instead of reading them?).

Surely a book worth immersing in.

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“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.”

~ Ken Blanchard

Of course, there are different ways to analyse and understand the quote.

However, one has to admit that being able to influence and persuade others is one of the most important skills in business and life. And even if you are sceptical about the idea, I would recommend you reading the book just to know when someone tries to manipulate you.

Nobody likes being manipulated. Yet, it is happening on daily basis, even when you are walking down the street or doing grocery shopping.

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” gives you a great brief of the science behind the influence and I would surely recommend you to read it.

Having said that, if there is just one book you would like to read about the subject, I would recommend more “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnagie.

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Luxury – Show me, don’t tell me

Does a true luxury really need an explanation?

Recently I have seen lots of buses that had written ‘Luxury’ either on their side or on the front window. What struck me the most though was the fact that those were some old coaches that I would never consider as luxurious ones.

So it made me think…

WHICH BUS WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

I don’t know about you but I am surely going for the black one!

But wait, it doesn’t have the label “Luxury” so how can I be sure it is better than the other, which clearly says it?

 

I realised that you know a product is luxurious when you see one, no matter if it is labeled as such or not. And this is a beauty of luxurious products. They stand out and you know after looking at them that it is something special.

My belief is that we tend to overuse the word “Luxury”, especially in the world of new fashion brands who want to gain more customers and to justify their high prices. I don’t know if it works for them or not, but I personally think it is an easy path that too many brands follow which causes the deflation of the meaning of the world.

Maybe in the past luxury stood for high-quality. Nowadays, when everyone can use it without any consequences (because how do you define a luxury product? And also, to be fair, you are not going to sue someone for selling you a product that is labeled as luxurious but in fact does not meet your expectations) it is not enough to just put a label on it.

Even more, I believe it is counterproductive and you would be better off trying to show your luxury instead of telling me about it.

Think of a luxury brand. What comes to your mind? Prada, Louis Vuitton, Channel and others I guess. Then go to their website. Not a single of them will use ‘luxury” on their website (maybe very rarely).

Because they don’t have to!

Then go and check the new leather brands or fashion brands in general that were created in the last 10 years. My bet is that the more expensive ones, most of them, will use that label a lot.

But do they have to?

If their products are amazing, if they work hard and position themselves well, eventually they will hopefully break into the market no matter if they are called luxurious or not. If on the other hand, their products are not great, then they are just lying to their customers. Not good enough.

So, what would I recommend?

If you are starting or working on a fashion brand that aims to be the luxury one, prove me that you are worth the price, not just tell me about it by using “Luxury” in every second sentence of your website.

How do you do that?

Create amazing products and work on your positioning. How?

Here are few books that can help you with that.

Update 1: I am very excited to share with you that over the last few months I have been working on a luxury fashion brand and every day I had in my mind this article.

Check it out to see if I succeeded to stand behind my words: https://goblackwood.co.uk

Feel free to also have a look at my newest article about the sad truth behind the leather industry. https://goblackwood.co.uk/vegan-leather/

Photo Credits:

  1. Photo was taken from http://www.singaporemalaysiabus.com/luxury.html
  2. Photo was taken from http://www.vip-shuttle.com/details.html
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