I have my share of pet peeves, my wife would probably say that I have much more than my share, but that is beside the point I wish to make here. I have heard many different times from a variety of angles people talking about how they “always” give 110%.
There are only two things wrong with this claim: 1) it is not possible “always” give your maximum effort and, 2) is mathematically impossible to give more than 100%.
If one gives everything one can, uses every ounce of effort available, one might,for a very brief spurt, be able to give 100%. Perhaps if I run 50 yards, I might be able to run at 100% of my ability, however limited that might be, for the full 50 yards. But if I am running a marathon, I cannot run the entire 26.2 miles at 100% effort. I may very well give it my best effort and do everything I can to finish the race in the best possible time for me. But if I try to give it my maximum effort from the start, I will be sitting and panting before the first mile marker.
If I ran as fast and as hard as I can, I will be running at 100% of my ability. I simply cannot run at 101% of my ability or 102% or 110% percent of my ability. The person who says that they are giving 110% is telling you that they are doing 10% than it is possible for them to do. That, simply makes no sense.
Just once I would like to hear the person doing one of these interviews whether it is with an athlete, an entertainer, a politician, or a businessman follow-up that claim with the following question: “That is very interesting, would you please explain how you can consistently give more effort than you are, by definition, capable of doing?”