40 and 90. Numbers to Live By.

40 and 90.

Why do these two numbers play such a significant role in my everyday life?


The 40% Rule and 90 Second Rule are two numbers to live by. Learn how to incorporate both rules into your life to create a stronger version of you.No, these are not my lucky numbers. These numbers actually have nothing to do with luck and everything to do with mindset. You see, luck is a made up concept anyway. In fact, I think we (including myself sometimes) throw around the work “luck”. Luck is more about chance. There is no strategy or mind work involved in chance. However, I am all about some mindset. The 40 and 90 actually resemble rules that I follow to help me be a stronger, better me.
You’re still probably like, “What in the world do 40 and 90 represent then?”

40% Rule
I first learned of the 40% rule while listening to an interview on Lewis Howes’ YouTube Channel (Go watch the video, it’s so enlightening!). Lewis was interviewing Jesse Itzler, an entrepreneur, who had quite a life-changing experience with a Navy SEAL (David Goggins). Basically the Navy SEAL ran a 100 mile race, broke bones in his feet, and had kidney failure (urinating blood) during the race, yet he still finished. He did all of this to raise money for children who had lost a soldier parent in a helicopter crash.

Now I want you to first think about 100 miles. Think about where you live. Think about 100 miles from where you live. Now think about running to that location. I can’t even imagine walking that far, let alone running! How did he do this? Is this man even human? What pushed this guy to keep going?

When I heard about how resilient this man was, I was intrigued just as Jesse Itzler was intrigued. Jesse eventually reached out to the Navy SEAL to see if he would live at Jesse’s house for a month. He admired this man’s discipline so much that he wanted to observe and absorb those same traits by living with him.

Later in the interview (about 31 minutes in), Lewis asks Jesse about the top three lessons he learned during the Navy SEAL’s month long stay. The first lesson Jesse talks about is the 40% rule. Essentially the 40% rule means that when your mind tells you it is time to give up, you are probably only at 40% of your potential. Let that marinate for a second…40%. That is less than half way there. Even though this rule seems to work primarily with physical activity such as running, lifting weights, or working out, you can still apply it to other areas of life as well.

When we are doing a task that is challenging, painful, frustrating, or time consuming, it’s so much easier to give up. Your mind will tell you that you can no longer accomplish any more and you are at your limit.

When I’m at the gym and I start to think I can’t do another rep, I push myself to do five more. Doubt is all inside our minds. Our minds analyze situations and want us to remain comfortable. Your mind wants you to settle. However, why settle if you have more to give? The 40% rule has truly pushed me in physical and emotional situations. I have even written “40” on my wrist or hand as a reminder for the days where I think I might give up too early and need that extra reminder. You’ll be shocked at how much more you can accomplish when you ignore the doubt, push past the safe zone, and work toward 100% instead of settling at 40%.

90 Second Rule
No, this is not an extended food dropping rule! The 90 second rule addresses suffering. I heard about the 90 second rule from listening to a YouTube video of Tony Robbins. He discusses this concept in many videos and it’s an amazing one. You can watch Lewis Howes’ interview with Tony about 40 minutes in to the video. So what is the 90 second rule? Tony says that you shouldn’t spend more than 90 seconds on self pity or suffering. This is not to say that in hard times you can’t feel angry, sad, or hopeless. However, it’s how long you spend in those emotions because extended periods of time with those emotions will not benefit the situation.

You can allow yourself 90 seconds to feel all those intense emotions and then you need to down scale. If you just got in a really bad car wreck and your car is totaled, then you do have the right to feel frustrated. What will constant frustration do for that situation though? It’s almost like the fight or flight scenario. If you just run away attached to all these emotions, then it’s going to bother you on a daily basis. Instead, face the challenging situation at hand. Move past those 90 seconds of intense suffering and self pity. Then you will see better overall results in regard to that situation.

Incorporating this into my life has really put my mind at ease in situations that the old me would have hung on to forever. Iv’e realized it’s not worth it. Yes, it was frustrating when my dog pooped on the carpet. Yes, I felt like an idiot when I accidentally scratched a car pulling into a parking lot (If you know me, then you know my obsession with my car). Yes, it really hurt when that person I loved broke my heart. In those moments, I felt a bit of self-pity. However, I was able to get over those thoughts quickly when I realized there wasn’t going to be a positive outcome if I felt those emotions for too long.

When I follow the 90 second rule, I am able to step back from the situation. I can handle the situation with a clearer mind and actually make progress.

Instead of complaining about the dog poop and being angry about it, I just clean it up. When I scratched the car in the parking lot, I took a deep breath and decided to do the right thing. I went to find the car owner and the lady said, “Don’t worry about it”! It was a really minor scratch on both of our cars anyway. No one was hurt. It’s a material item and I can easily fix my car. Plus, I have insurance and that’s what it’s there for just in case. Instead of spending multiple nights crying myself to sleep after a break up, I decided to refocus my energy. I decided to work on me, work on my life, and do what makes me happy. My resilience lately is shocking.

I even told my sister, “It’s scary how quickly I recover and move on.”

That’s what we have to do. Feel the emotion for 90 seconds, assess the situation on a clearer mind, and move on. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice.

Whether we are looking at the 40% rule or the 90 second rule, it is all about mindset. It’s not easy. It’s going to take a lot of self control and a strong inner voice. It will also be completely and totally worth it. I’ve only implemented these ideas in my life for the past few months and I don’t think I’ve ever been in a better mental state. 🙂

Are you going to try to incorporate these rules into your life? What rules do you live by?







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