No such thing as 110%

I was in a clothing store the other day and saw a man wearing an ironic t-shirt that said “I hate me job”. It was 10% funny, and 90% sad. There are certain colloquialisms we don’t even bat a eye at because they’re so ingrained in our culture. Like “Let’s give it 110%”. If I told you I wanted to eat 110% of your birthday cake, you’d look at me like I was crazy. If you went into the Apple store and demanded a refund because you tried to use 110% of your iphone battery, they’d call security.

While this just seems like semantics, there’s an underlying problem. Our culture and our work ethic suffers from all the extreme fitness trends, being overworked on the job, and the acceptable “Oh I’m so busy” reply to being asked how you are. We have actually grown to value exhaustion in our society. By declaring that we are going to apply 110% of our effort immediately imposes a deficiency upon us. We can never live up to that demand and in turn meet the rest of our lives with under-efforting from exhaustion, and not trusting our own abilities. If we work to recognize our potential and meeting our life at 100% we would feel fully empowered.