At a recent Perform Better Summit I heard Todd Durkin speak about how to get more impact out of the your life, both in the things you achieve and in the people you help. Todd is one of the most energetic guys you’ll ever meet and he excels at getting more out of each day than most people fit into a week. During the presentation he mentioned that everyone should read the book The 10X Rule and, since I try to follow the advice of successful people when they give it, I ordered it for my Kindle when I got home.

It is written by a guy named Grant Cardone who specializes in sales training. In it he reveals his insights into secrets for success and what he calls the “Ten Times (10X) Rule”. While the book is aimed at the bigger picture of life and business, I found the 10X Rule to have a lot of application to mindset needed to succeed with both training and mountain biking.

The 10X Rule is the idea that you need to multiply everything by 10. He says that most people fail when they set out to do something for 2 reasons:

1) They grossly underestimate the amount of time, money and effort it will take to achieve. People think about and plan from a best case scenario and then panic and quit when things take more than they anticipated. The 10X Rule says that you should assume that what you are shooting for will take ten times what you think it will.

I see this all the time with both riding and training. Riders will try standing up more on climbs or changing their cornering technique, get frustrated and go back to their old habits if they don’t get it down in 1 or 2 rides. New trainees will struggle to learn more efficient, mountain bike specific ways of performing exercises and go back to their old habits so they can lift more weight or do more reps.

If you just assume that it is going to take ten times as long as you think it will to see the results you are looking for then you will not blind-sided by setbacks. We live in a “right now” society – improve your riding today with a pill, powder or new bike/ part/ wheel size – but the truth is that real, long lasting results take a lot of time and effort to see.

2) They don’t set their goals high enough for the amount of work to be worth it. He says that most people set their goals just high enough to make achieving them feel like work, not like success. He makes a compelling argument for why you need to re-think your goals and the consequences of mediocre goals.

There is a saying that sums this idea up – whether you think you can or you think your can’t, you’re right. Why set limits on your success by not aiming ridiculously high? This isn’t mindless “positive thinking” bull crap, this is realistically appraising your passions and strengths and then multiplying what you think you can do with it by ten. Odds are, this will take your goals to levels that, if achieved, will deliver a much higher level of success as well.

Who wants to bust ass to be average or slightly above average? If the first part of the 10X Rule tells us we’re going to have to bust ass anyways, the second part tells us to set goals high enough to really appreciate the effort. Just like in life, the trail is ultimately what you make of it.

Overall I really liked the 10X Rule and the overall book. Besides the 10X Rule Grant also covers a lot the mindset and habits that successful people share, things that anyone can model in their own lives to increase the level of success they can achieve. I’m really glad that Todd recommended the book in his talk and can second that recommendation if you’re looking for a book to help you sharpen your overall success mindset.

-James Wilson-

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