#MTtalk: Superhuman Effort - One Last Push » Mind Tools Blog

#MTtalk: Superhuman Effort – One Last Push

July 2, 2019

Great runners recognize the moment in a race when they have to push for glory – and they go for it! They “dig deep,” pouring everything they’ve got into that final sprint to the tape.

In the workplace, too, there are times when one last burst of energy is essential, to get yourself and your team over the finish line.

This week’s #MTtalk chat is about knowing when to go “all out” to get something done, and how to summon up the strength to succeed.

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: July 5, @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT/10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Superhuman Effort – One Last Push
Host: @Mind_Tools

The score will take care of itself when you take care of the effort that precedes the score.

– John Wooden, U.S. basketball player and coach

Kayla’s Superhuman Effort

Kayla Montgomery was a sports-loving teenager. An elite soccer player, she wasn’t only good at the game – she loved it.

During a match one afternoon, Kayla – who was 14 at the time – fell. The fall itself was unremarkable. However, in the days afterward, she started feeling an unusual numbness in her legs.

The numbness persisted, and her worried parents took her for medical tests. An MRI scan confirmed their fears that something major was wrong.

Kayla was diagnosed with MS, or multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease that affects the central nervous system. And, since soccer is a contact sport, she was no longer allowed to play.

Instead of pitying herself, though, Kayla turned to long-distance running. To start with, she was one of the slowest people on the team. But she was determined to improve her times, and she trained tirelessly with her coach, Patrick Cromwell.

Coach Cromwell’s job wasn’t just to teach Kayla to run better. It was up to him to catch her in his arms at the end of every race. The MS made her lose feeling in her limbs as she ran, so she couldn’t stop properly at the finish line, and she ended every race screaming for his help.

And yet she kept running. Race by race, she bettered her times.

Kayla’s final race at high school was an important championship that she badly wanted to win.

One Last Push

Disaster struck in the very first lap. Kayla tripped and fell. Her coach could barely believe it, and he looked on in horror, helpless.

But the teenager knew exactly what to do. She got up and started running again.

Despite the distance she had to make up, Kayla not only caught the leaders, she overtook them. Around the final bend, with her closest competitor hot on her heels, she put in her fastest ever sprint – and won.

Your Superhuman Efforts at Work

During our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week, we’re going to discuss what it’s like to put in an almost superhuman effort: to give one last, big push to reach your goal.

In our Twitter poll, we asked what gives some people the ability to do just that. Forty percent of our participants felt that it happens when giving up simply isn’t an option. Only a small percentage thought that it had something to do with excellence.

We’d love you to participate in the chat on Friday, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in advance:

How do you determine when a superhuman effort is needed? What criteria do you use?

When does making that last push not make sense?

Is there a threshold you won’t cross when pushing to achieve a goal or meet a deadline?

How do you balance the other aspects of your life when you pull out all the stops to achieve something at work?

How has putting in a superhuman effort benefited you in the past?

What makes that “one last push” seem superhuman?


To help you to get ready for the chat, we’ve also compiled a list of resources for you to browse:

Developing Resilience

9 Ways to Future Proof Your Career

Developing “Character”

Motivating Yourself

Energizing Yourself

Using Stretch Goals With Your Team

How to Join

Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets,” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

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