Use This Olympian's 'Rule of Thirds' to Chase Any Big Dream - Deepstash
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How hard you should push yourself when chasing big dreams

How hard you should push yourself when chasing big dreams

Researchers, founders and executives insist that running can teach essential lessons in sticking with big goals and mental toughness.

Olympic distance runner Alexi Pappas's advice from one of her running coaches is to use the rule of thirds:

"Whenever you're chasing a big dream, you're supposed to feel good a third of the time, okay a third of the time and crappy or not great a third of the time."

"If you feel too good all the time, you're not pushing yourself enough, and if you feel too fatigued, you might be burning out."


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Resilience in rule form

The rule of thirds is for looking back at your progress and seeing if you should push yourself more or less.

Feeling lousy is not a sign that you're not good enough or doing something wrong. Instead, it means you're trying to do something ambitious.

To maximize your progress towards challenging goals,

  • you should be well outside your comfort zone (feeling lousy) a third of the time.
  • Feeling lousy much more is risky.
  • Feeling lousy less means you're not putting in enough effort.


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