How would you like to feel using your maximum mental potential? Using 100% of your mental effort, brain power and energy to direct laser focus to get those to-dos done like a bawss and be back on top of things. ‘Consistent epic-ness’. Good thought right? I thought so too. That’s why I put it to the test.
I was trailing behind in my studies and it was getting quite annoying to say the least. I’d repeatedly (and obsessively) watched The Climb scene from The Dark Knight Rises for motivation and it stirred unbelievable feelings of rising above lethargy and laziness. Rise.
‘How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death,’
Or in my case, the fear of mediocrity, fear of failure. ‘Then rise and exploit your full potential. Unleash potential for greatness’ I told myself.
Inception of the one-week full potential exploitation challenge took place.
‘The Ultimate No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, and Take No Prisoners, Dark Knight Style Epic Week of Productivity Pushed to the Edge Mental Peak Performance Challenge’. Full control over mind, body and soul. Testosterone filled, high octane, mofo of a week.
Or ‘RISE WEEK’ for short.
Beginning on Saturday morning and ending on Friday afternoon.
*The point of it being one week was that I could tell myself that it would end in one week, so keep pushing. It wasn’t a ‘I’m never going to procrastinate ever again’ sort of promise which gets broken the following hour. This was a limited-time-only thing. I could look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.
There were some ground rules to be made. Here they are:
- Effective productive study output every chance I get
- No bullcrap do-stuff-to-feel-busy activities
- No sleep after Fajr
- No YouTube
- No lounging around
- No unnecessary computer usage
- All prayers done ON TIME
- 1 Juz Quran reading daily
- Postponing all extracurricular to-dos/activities
- Leave home 7.30 am, get home 8.30 pm (Uni Mon-Fri)
- Full epic workouts
- Full attention in lectures
- Skipping this week’s schedule check of Fb and email
This was really pushing myself to the edge. Full control over compulsions and laziness. This was to see what my limit was, to see what’s possible, to find out what my final rep could be. I was to go for battle.
How did it all go? Well, read on.
The weekend (first 2 days of RISE WEEK) were unbelievable. I was blown away by what is achievable if only you dedicate your mind to it. I got A LOT done and was looking forward to the coming week.
Monday was awesome too, full focus in class and lectures. I didn’t shy at asking questions in labs and tutes, I was on a mission.
Tuesday I began to dwindle. But still, I hadn’t broken a lot of the rules yet, like no YouTube (which to me is the most important habit I want to break right now).
Then Wednesday came along. I crashed. I woke up late, missed a lecture, got to Uni late and lost my drive. It was too much, I had to let it go. To the point where I left campus and went to the river side in a fit of disappointment. 2 hours of solitude and deep thinking. I had to get away.
When I got home that night, my mind was begging me to stop, I went to sleep like a rock.
Thursday morning, woke up 11 am un-refreshed and with a migraine. Unbelievable. I’d never before had a headache just after waking. Ever. Two coffees and two Panadols later, it was officially over. RISE WEEK had ended before its end.
What did I learn from this experiment? Here they are:
- Unleashing your full mental potential is possible for 3 days max. Maybe 4, but that’s pushing it.
- Consistent break-free peak performance is impossible
- Daily rest and repair is required to maintain a long term peak performance plan
However, I also learnt where my limit was, what I was capable of. Will I take on RISE WEEK again? Perhaps. But I’ve discovered a powerful weapon in my newly found arsenal. RISE FEW DAYS (which I now call it) is a mental state you can enter once in a while to exponentially boost productivity to get things done before you pull on the brakes and repair yourself before you crash (which I should’ve done on the Tuesday afternoon).
You can use it during study breaks, exam week or whenever you feel you need to get A LOT done in a short amount of time. And I mean A LOT.
I share my experiment not to brag, but to hopefully inspire you awesome readers to do the same. Give it a try. RISE WEEK. Or now probably RISE FEW DAYS or even RISE DAY. Make some ground rules, prepare a few days before and get yourself into the mental state. See what you’re capable of and push yourself to the edge.
Trust me, it’s a rewarding experience once you reach the other side. Your mind is a powerful weapon, learning how to control and use it to your advantage is an art that takes training and discipline.
Let fear of mediocrity drive you forward.