Are you looking for the ultimate “life hack” to achieve your goals faster? I believe this is it.
I want to share something that I’ve been using recently to achieve my goals faster than ever before.
It’s the Japanese word Zenkai.
I learned it from my all-time favorite childhood manga and show, Dragonball (If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend it).
It means “complete recovery”. From what I understand, it also means complete destruction.
Tthrough destruction, achieving a full recovery.
In the show mentioned, they use the term Zenkai Boost. Which is a boost certain characters receive when they are completely beaten, but survive the battle. After a full recovery, they become even stronger. These characters use this ability to get stronger with every battle to overcome their opponent.
As a child, I always wanted this power, but as an adult, I thought, what if we actually have it?
As the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said:
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger“.
Hear me out…
Nature is built for us to evolve and become better versions of ourselves. Animals, humans, plants, bacteria, just about everything evolves through time.
The whole survival of the fittest thing.
How do we evolve? Typically from challenges we face.
In biology, organisms face environmental challenges, and only those suited to survive these obstacles pass on their mutated genes. We call this natural selection when life forms evolve and develop into new species.
Hacking Our Evolution For Success
So, what if we hack this for our personal benefit?
Instead of resisting challenges, we purposely go towards challenges to speed up our personal evolution.
This is Zenkai in practice.
If I want to get fit and build muscle, I need to work out. When you workout, you damage your muscles by causing little tears in the tissue and muscle fibers. Those tears leave your muscles destroyed. When you allow your muscles to recover, they become stronger for the next time.
It’s not just physical fitness either.
The same applies to learning. Learning rewires the brain.
If you want to get better at something, you have to fail at it for a while until you master it. Whether it’s painting, playing the guitar, or anything else.
In business, you have to fail a lot also, face challenges, and adapt to the changing economy.
Doing something over and over again doesn’t just make it easier. It actually changes your brain.
This is called neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience.
Neuroscientist Hadley Bergstrom can explain it better than me:
“It’s important to spread out learning over many days, his work shows. That means learning a little bit at a time. Doing so allows links between neurons to steadily strengthen. It also allows glial cells time to better insulate axons.
Even an “aha!” moment — when something suddenly becomes clear — doesn’t come out of nowhere. Instead, it is the result of a steady accumulation of information. That’s because adding new information opens up memories associated with the task. Once those memory neurons are active, they can form new connections, explains Bergstrom. They also can form stronger connections within an existing network. Over time, your level of understanding increases until you suddenly “get” it.”
Increase The Difficulty To Push Your Boundaries
It’s not about completely destroying yourself, it’s about increasing the difficulty to push your boundaries and limits.
Then allowing yourself enough time to recover and improve.
By purposely challenging yourself, you are forcing yourself to grow. Whatever you want to get better at, face it head-on, and fail forward.
This is practicing, but practicing with the intent of growth, not just to practice for the sake of practice.
If I want to get better at drawing, instead of just drawing once in a while the same thing over and over, I could speed up my improvement by drawing more challenging subjects.
If I want to get better at basketball, I can challenge myself with harder drills and shots.
If I want to become better at a language, I can increase the difficulty of words or sentences.
The greatest success stories and heroes we look up to typically faced the toughest challenges, survived them, and got stronger as a result.
So instead of avoiding pain and challenges like we have the tendency to do, start going towards it to push your limits and create new ones.
For all I know there is no limit to this, as you could continue to raise the difficulty of whatever you want to become better at.
Put It Into Practice
Don’t just take my word for it. Put it into practice.
You may be surprised at how fast you improve at whatever you want to do.
It helps to designate a block of time for this.
I call this time in my day the Zenkai Power Session.
First thing in the morning, I wake up and do the hardest challenge for the day where I want to improve the most. For me, that is exercising in the morning to improve my body, meditating to improve my mind, and then after a shower, I tackle the hardest task of the day that pushes me closer to my goal in business before doing anything else.
After I reach a point of “comfort” in whatever it is, I raise the difficulty again.
Then allow my body and mind to recover and absorb the benefits.
These are the 3 simple steps:
- Challenge > 2. Recover > 3. Increase Difficulty
Repeat this cycle over and over again as many times as you can to continually get better.
It’s helping me to advance at a much faster rate in anything I do, so I wanted to drop it here for you to try.
Use it wisely, be safe, and watch where it takes you.