We’ve all been there: We run out of toothpaste, but manage to squish out a little blob, just enough to brush our teeth with.
Then the next day we forget to pick up a new tube, so we’re forced to squeeze harder to get another blob or two out.
The following morning we carefully roll up the tube from the backend, forcing more toothpaste out.
Later, forgetting to buy toothpaste yet again, we snip off the backend of the tube with scissors and swirl our toothbrush in there to eek out another brushing.
Really, this pattern could continue for another week because no matter how much we deplete the tube, there’s always a little more that can be extracted.
It occurs to me that there is a lesson here—beyond the obvious one, that the amount of toothpaste we waste in our lifetime is significant. What’s the lesson?
You can always get a little more if you keep squeezing.
What a great metaphore for life. When you think you’ve given all you can, there’s always more your can get out of the tube. Always. In Jiu Jitsu, our mind will always quit long before our body is incapable of continuing.
Former Navy Seal and ultra-marathoner David Goggins says: “When your mind is telling you are done, you’re really only 40 percent done”. Joel Jamieson says “when the brain senses a threat to energy homeostasis, (i.e. too much energy is being used), its first reaction is to decrease motivation to keep moving.”
So never quit. Never stop fighting. Don’t give in to your mind when it’s telling you to stop. You can always squish a little more toothpaste out of the tube.