Mental Models: Tolerance Levels

I have been building a list of mental models to help myself better understand the world. I will occasionally do a write-up to explain one of them and how it applies to the real world. If you want to view my full list of mental models or read my previous posts on mental models then you can go to this link:

A tolerance level is when the body doesn’t react the same way to a substance as it did in the past because the body adapts to the previous intake and now it takes more to have an effect.

Human beings have been incredible adapters throughout their history and their bodies have a keen way of adapting to the intake of substances over time.

Tolerance levels show up in almost everything you expose yourself to in life.

Here are just some examples of the way we deal with tolerance levels in our everyday lives:

- The more alcohol you drink, the more your body adjusts to needing more to make you become intoxicated.

- The more coffee you drink, the more coffee you will need for the caffeine to seep into your bloodstream and give you that jolt of energy and awakeness.

- The more trauma and adversity you’ve experienced in life, the more it takes to break you down.

- The less trauma and adversity you’ve experienced in life, the less it takes to break you down.

- The more you eat during each meal, the more it takes to fill you up.

- The more luxuries you have and experience (mansion, beautiful car, fancy clothes, traveling), the more it will take for you to experience content and enjoyment. And once you have all of the beautiful luxuries of a private driver, private pilot, mansion, fancy car, the harder it becomes to adjust to life without these luxuries.

- The more rejection letters you receive, the more your mind can tolerate the bad news of being rejected and can then move on quicker.

After a certain period of time, your body builds up a higher level of what it can tolerate and it adjusts. The catch is you can’t try and speed up that tolerance level too quickly because your tolerance level can break. Just think about how too much stress on a rubber band by pulling it out too far will eventually cause it to snap but if you slowly stretch it out gradually it becomes easier and easier to stretch.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mike Gorlon

Accountant, part-time investor, reader, blogger. I use this platform to improve my thinking and writing.