Dr. Myron Rolle says ‘The 2% Way’ will lead you to a better version of yourself

Former NFLer shares unique way to improve
Dr. Myron Rolle says 'The 2% Way' will lead you to a better version of yourself
Photo courtesy of Enoch Kavindele Jr.

Dr. Myron Rolle played in the NFL as a safety for the Tennessee Titans  before becoming a neurosurgeon. Dr. Rolle played college football at Florida State University College of Medicine and is currently completing his residency at Harvard Medical School. To top it off, Dr. Rolle is also helping to improve the lives of others with a new book and process titled The 2% Way.

How did you come up with this practice?

I decided to write The 2% Way, honestly, because of my wife. I was coming from a 24-hour shift at the hospital at Harvard where I’m a neurosurgery resident and was walking home when she said, “you know, Myron, I think you should put your story on paper, you have a lot of inspirational people who have influenced your life. You read Dr. Carson’s book when you were younger and that opened up your thoughts around neurosurgery and brain and neuroscience in general. I think you should do the same.” And for me, I kept refuting, saying, “Oh, no one wants to hear from me. I’m in the dojo, the residency, this is not the time,” but she believed in me more than I believed in myself.

So, I eventually gave in and wrote the book and found out so many things about myself. I told my story arc through this book, starting from the Bahamas, then going to New Jersey, and going to college in Florida, going over to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and now in neurosurgery at Harvard. Through that story arc, I inject how I’ve had human experiences from self-doubt, uncertainty, feeling prejudice, feeling boxed out, feeling socially awkward in certain systems and settings, and how “The 2% Way,” this mindset of taking small growth, small wins, small steps of edification consistently every day, led me to a better version of myself.

Can you break down exactly what the 2% practice is as it relates to mental health?

I’ve got this mindset from my football coach at Florida State University. He challenged me and my teammates to get 2% better every day on the football field. He wanted us to have small, practical goals of improvement in our stamina, our ability to backpedal, our ability to tackle people, and whatever the case may be. We all felt that it was realistic, it wasn’t like getting 100% better tomorrow, because that’s impractical. That means we doubled our talent in a day, but 2% felt manageable, it felt real, it felt plausible. So, I extrapolated that mindset from my coach into life. Any large, overwhelming task or any movement that I want to make, if I take these small steps every day, and I check it off, I just got a little bit better.

That, to me,  gives me the power and the fuel to move forward and it activates an excitatory pathway in our brain, our limbic lobe, one of the lobes that is the reward pathway that releases neurotransmitters and makes us feel good about earning something and doing something while moving forward having progress. It also quiets the background noise where sometimes people in my generation and others feel like we’re not doing enough. If we look at the people on Twitter or Instagram, people next to us, it seems like they have it all, but that’s not always true. If you stay in your lane, stay focused, and get a little bit better every day, you will see the progress you make in a month, six months, and a year from now, and love it.

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