Removing the Governor


Before you get too excited, this article is not about politics. There is enough of that on the internet, I don’t need to contribute to that mess.

The governor that I am talking about, is the one that they put in cars to keep them from going too fast and causing an accident or causing damage to the engine.

U-Haul Trucks

The last time I needed to move my family from one house to another, I needed to rent a truck. We have way too much stuff so I needed a big truck. I got the biggest truck possible and loaded it up with all the stuff for a family of 7. When I got in the truck and started driving on the highway, I realized that I wasn’t able to go faster than 55 MPH. The speed limit on the highway was 65 MPH, but no matter how hard I pressed the gas pedal to the floor, the truck would only go 55 MPH.

I quickly realized they have put a governor on the speed of the truck. Whether for safety or the truck just couldn’t handle the weight and speed, I wasn’t going any faster than 55 MPH no matter how hard I tried.

Our Life

Sometimes I feel the same way about my life. I have this invisible governor that sets some arbitrary limit on what I am able to accomplish or achieve. I see this a lot in my exercise activities. I will work out for weeks walking, running, walking, and see very little progress.

Maybe you have seen this same process in your work life, personal life, or with your relationships, whatever it might be. What puts these governors in place?

Can’t Hurt Me

I normally don’t talk about a book until I am completely done, but given the timing of the runDisney Marathon weekend experiences and my completion of the David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me audiobook, I wanted to share an interesting point from the book before I am finished listening to it.

David talks about removing the governor and finding our 100% threshold for whatever we are doing. The entire book (up to now) has been about hardening your mind and using techniques to building mental toughness to remove those governors.

Non Stop 10k

Until this last weekend, I had never continuously run a 10k distance. When I would do training runs I would say to myself, I am going to run 2K and then walk/run the remaining 8k, then I would run 5k and walk/run the remaining 5k, as I was building up to the full 10k.There are so many different stories and limits that I have built up in my head.

This past weekend, I discovered some key principles about breaking down my governors. I wanted to share them with you so you can also break down your governors.

One, set a goal or a plan, before you take on the activity. There is a simple rule in life that every person needs to follow and that is to set a plan as early as possible. The further in advance you can set the plan, the better the results would be. The more time you have to think about the plan, focus on it, and get your mind to accept the plan the better.

My plan was to run at least 7k, I kept running this distant through my head over and over. When I hit 7k, I realized that I felt great and 10k was within my grasp and went for it.

I saw this same process happen when I did my first training Half Marathon. I planned it days in advance, planned it out, thought about it and was mentally prepared when the day came. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t have doubts and didn’t try to talk myself out of it the morning of but once I got up and started, I knew I would accomplish my new goal.

Two, distract your mind.

In addition to planning in advance and allowing my mind to become accustomed to the idea, I also saw that having my mind distracted by all of the activity going on around me at the runDisney event helped to keep my mind out of the “stop running” decision. I kept running because I wasn’t thinking about whether or not I should stop. My mind was removed from the equation, so I just kept running.

Do you have any principles that you follow when removing your governors? Share your principles in the comments below.

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