Even if you were a band geek and never played a sport in your life...I'm sure you've heard the saying. Coaches, parents, teachers, and bosses have all been trying to get us to give 110%. Well let me just cut to the chase with this post and say, that saying is CRAP and a huge pet peeve of mine. When it comes to effort, you can't give more than you have. So why is this saying so popular and used so frequently? Should we change the saying?
I think the saying has caught on and is a piece of our mainstream culture now because it is more rewarding to think you're doing more than you are capable. So before I go any further I have a test for you, it's interactive so get ready to move a little. Alright I want you to raise your right hand as high you can. Stretch it out as high as you can. Hold it there for a second. Now raise it 1 inch higher. Did I just bust you, were you able to raise it that last inch? Did you just give just give 110% or were you just holding back a little bit? I think it is human nature to hold a little bit back. I'm not a trained psychologist and I couldn't find any studies out there in the Googleworld on the topic so I'll give my best shot and take it for what it's worth:
I think if we all gave 100% of our effort in everything we did, exercise, jobs, relationships, etc, then those around us would expect that from us all the time. So instead we hold a little back so on those "special occasions" we can give that little extra and receive the praise for giving "110%" because we exceeded our external expectations. Key word there, external. So I opened up another can of worms with that last statement so let me dive into that for a second.
External Motivation vs Internal Motivation
I believe that we have become a society that let's others dictate what is expected of us rather than determining what we are capable of. I feel like this could be another separate blog post so I will just touch briefly on this. In a society where value is placed on how we look, what we drive, the home we live in, the grades our kids get in school, and the food we eat, it is impossible to completely remove yourself from external judgment. Do we let that judgement dictate our behavior OR do we set our own expectations and judge ourselves internally on whether or not we meet those expectations. The exact same thing could be said for goals that we set for ourselves.
So should we try to change this silly saying? I would argue 110% ;) that it should. So instead of saying I gave 110%, what if you switched it to "I just realized my potential." It doesn't quite have the same ring but maybe over time it will catch on. Next time you think about using the 110% phrase or hear someone else use it, think of this post and ask yourself if it really was 110% or did you just realize your potential and what you are TRULY capable of achieving. Are your expectations meeting your capabilities? Here's to learning what 100% feels and looks like!
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.