Updated: Jan 31
I saw this story on Instagram and I want to share it with you.
During a BRUTAL study at Harvard in the 1950s, Dr. Curt Richter placed rats in a pool of water to test how long they could tread water. On average they’d give up and sink after 15 minutes. But right before they gave up due to exhaustion, the researchers would pluck them out, dry them off, let them rest for a few minutes and put them back in for a second round. In this second try – how long for you think they lasted? Remember they had just swam until failure only a few short minutes ago. How long do you think? Another 15 minutes? 10 minutes? 5 minutes? No! 60 hours! That’s not an error. That’s right! 60 hours of swimming. The conclusions drawn was that since the rats BELIEVED that they would eventually be rescued, they could push their bodies way past what they previously thought impossible. I will leave you with this thought: if hope can cause exhausted rats to swim for that long, what could a belief in yourself and your abilities do for you? Remember what you’re capable of. Remember why you’re here. From @policefitnessnutrition on Instagram
When I read this story I had to stop for a minute. What a MASSIVE difference! 15 minutes versus 60 hours?!? Only one thing changed to create this amazing difference: belief. That’s it.
Do you allow yourself to hope?
So many times we look for proof that what we hope for could actually be true. Even those of us intuitive introverts, who can dream with the best of them, we look to what we know to be true, what we know is possible, before we will allow ourselves to believe that our dreams could be true.
I’ve had dreams before and thought, “No, that could never happen.” Because of that thought, I never even tried. It was over before I even started.
I’ve had other dreams that I believed in so much that I feel like I MADE them come true, like there was no way that it wasn’t going to happen. And all that changed was that belief, that hope.
We look to the highest branch we can see
I love to listen to Cathy Heller. She has this amazing podcast called Don’t Keep Your Day Job. On one of her shows, she told this story about a small boy in school. His teacher asked the class to draw a picture of them in their dream job. Most kids drew pictures of baseball players, ballerinas, and astronauts. But this little boy drew a picture of a pizza delivery man.
After school, the teacher called his mom and told her what happened. The mom said that she wasn’t surprised. This boy didn’t have a father and most of the guys who should have been in his life were in jail or gone. The only father figure he had was her brother who worked as a pizza delivery driver.
We reach for the highest branch that we can see. That little boy thought the world of his uncle and he wanted to be just like him. All he could see, all he thought was possible was being a pizza delivery driver.
What’s the highest branch that you can see? What are you dreaming about and hoping for?
When I heard that story I had to reassess my dreams. I’ve been hoping for things that I believe are possible. I don’t want to make too much money, just enough. I don’t want to change the world, just a few people who really need help. I don’t want to make a big splash, just a little one.
Why though? If all that it takes is the belief that you can swim past 15 minutes, then shouldn’t you keep going? Shouldn’t you keep dreaming? Shouldn’t you keep hoping?
Oh but the disappointments…
A lot of people are held back by the fear of being disappointed. Not actually being disappointed, but just the fear that it could happen.
I’ve been here too. I want to write a book and get it published with a big publishing house. But that means that I have to be vulnerable. I have to put myself out there, to ask them if they like it. That means that I have to hear if they don’t like it. I have to look rejection in the face and know that there’s going to be a lot of it.
If I don’t write the book, I’ll never know if people like it or not. I’ll never have the opportunity to help people to learn more about themselves. I’ll never have the opportunity to help myself.
I’m one of those people who can never live with not knowing. I’ll take the risk. I’ll put myself out there and see what happens.
Hope creates change
When you live in a safe spot, never putting yourself out there, never being vulnerable, never wanting or asking for more, you feel comfortable. It’s a good place to be… until you want something more. Then, in order to get that thing, you have to be uncomfortable for a while. But being uncomfortable is the only way to change.
That hope that you can be different creates the change that you want to see.
I hope that I can write a book that will change people’s lives and that hope is driving me to make the change, to actually start writing and start looking for the help I need to publish it.
My new book is called Relentless Understanding. It’s a revolutionary guide to understanding yourself and finding self-love. I have no idea when I will be out because I’m just getting started, but I wanted to let you know so that you could join me! I’m making videos of the process and the ideas in the book. They’ll be on YouTube every week until it’s done.
Check out the first one here:
I hope that you’ll subscribe and follow me through this journey!