The McKelvy Scholars will host a discussion on human capacity led by Josh Zhuo ’21 on Sunday at 6 p.m.  Email the group for the Zoom link. Josh provides this background:

Human capacity is one of the greatest internal resources all humans possess. However, whether that potential is allowed to manifest itself is not consistent among all people. In other words, there is significant variation in whether individuals are able to maximize this resource.

Most commonly, we attribute successful individuals with a strong competence to tap into their full potential (i.e., successful leaders, students with incredible accomplishments, elite athletes). These attractive traits, however, are at best superficial compared to the accomplishments achieved by those who have almost become inhuman by leveraging their core capacities.

Wim Hof hikes with others in the snow

Wim Hof

In discussing the nuances of human capacity, I want to bring to the forefront a few individuals whom I believe have circumvented traditional conventions of limitation to defy medical consensus and reshape our paradigm of thought. These figures include but are not limited to:

  • Wim Hof, who has demonstrated through breathing and cold therapy that the autonomic system can be manipulated
  • David Blaine, who has performed numerous endurance feats thought to be infeasible by the common man
  • Rich Roll, who has completed the EPIC5 (five ironman distance races across five days) and an ultramarathon
  • David Goggins, who emerged from abject poverty to become an undeniable savage.

Questions to contemplate

  1. What does human potential mean to you?
  2. To what extent do you want to personally maximize this internal resource (i.e., on a scale of 1-10)?
  3. What is the most efficient and effective way of extracting all of your capabilities?
  4. Is pain and suffering a necessary component to this?
  5. Why are uncommon individuals a scarce minority in this world? If this distribution is unequal due to external/internal factors, will it ever be possible to generate a society where a majority of individuals are able to maximize their human potential?
  6. Is it possible to standardize a methodology for reaching one’s human potential?

Interesting articles to read

Maximizing Human Potential
Wim Hoff Method
David Goggins

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