The 110%

Hate is a strong word, but I really hate when people say that they are going to give it 110%.

First of all, it is impossible to give 110%. The percentage is a fraction based on the whole possible amount.

You can give 100%.

100% is the maximum possible percentage of what you are capable of doing. You are not inflation or the NASDAQ. You are just you (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Second of all, if you are going to throw improper ratios around, you may as well make it worth my while. Tell me you are going to give me 400%. Then I’ll know you really mean it! An extra 10% means nothing to me. And frankly, now I’m offended.

Thirdly, let’s be honest, we are all working at about 60% of our maximum. None of us work very hard for very long. If we get in four solid hours of work, we play Candy Crush the rest of the day. Am I right, or am I right?

If I worked at 100% of what I’m capable of, it would definitely throw off the earth’s rotation.

To prove my point… (and I do like to do that)

Let’s say you are one of those strong men… that participate in those strong man competitions to determine the World’s Strongest Man.

And let’s say your name is Vytautas Lalas and you are from Lithuania (stay with me) and you are participating in such an event. You have a lot of competition, as there are a lot of other strong men from places like Iceland and Poland and Estonia that are also competing for the title.

And let’s say that you all compete in such contests as the Truck Pull, where you must pull a vehicle 100 feet… with your hand; or the Squat, where you must lift 900 pounds of bricks straight off the ground; or the Keg Toss, where you must throw kegs of increasing weight over a 14 foot wall; or the Fridge Carry, where… (you guessed it)… you must carry a fridge on your shoulders.

You want to win, you trained for this (presumably by pulling vehicles, throwing kegs, lifting fridges, etc.), and you are going to give it everything you’ve got!

Like, possibly 100%, or at least 99%.

That’s what Vytautas Lalas did… and now he’s the World’s Strongest Man, officially.

So, next time someone says that they are going to give it 110%, give them a look of consternation and refer them to any High School math textbook.

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