If you are reading this, chances are…You’re a lot like me. If actions speak louder than words, I like a good challenge. So much so, that I choose to learn all of life’s lessons the hard way. The hard way is the only way. If its easy it just doesn’t get my full attention. I don’t procrastinate, I’m efficient. I’ve also discovered, like it or not, I am about as stoic as a person can be. Here’s some clarity on what that actually means-
“Stoicism is the philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, and tougher.”
After reading this, it really clicked. I conform to the more basic definition of stoic as well, which I define as: We control and hold our emotions pretty tightly. That’s what is the scariest about this cold shower thing. Its choosing to put your hand on the hot stove….and keep it there… to really fully learn your lesson, and to learn who you are and what you are capable of. To me this is an obvious Growth Hack. Pain motivates.
I felt inspired to write this post based on a podcast I just listened to titled “Adversity is a Gift” on “The Sisu Way” by Scott McGee. As I took notes on the things that really resonated with me, I felt like I should share the breakthrough that I had in understanding my relationship with pain. The concept of Adversity being a gift can definitely strike a chord depending on our individual challenges and current mood.
Those of you that know me well, have heard me talk about the power of taking a cold shower in the morning rather than coffee or whatever else gets you going. Its not a new concept. This morning it was framed in a different light and I feel that I have come to fully understand its power, and thus I am issuing both of us a challenge.
Aside from the massive jolt of energy a cold shower can provide, I mean it will REEEEEEAAAAAALLLY wake you up! It is also an opportunity to work on your resilience, and perseverance. The person who stands in front of a cold shower “stoic” showing no emotion or pain, is a true SAVAGE! It also prepares you to face the much harder and more important challenges that life can bring, if you pay attention to it’s lesson.
A cold shower is what mindset coaches refer to as a ‘Micro Adversity’. So…. since this is obviously no big deal… Here’s the challenge- TAKE A COLD SHOWER!
Soooo…you think you are tough? Crank on the cold water and jump in the shower for 60 seconds or more. Ok… cool… you’re tough… now do it without expression or sound, for a couple minutes…and YOU my friend are undeniably BADASS.
You may need to work up to it, take a normal shower then switch the water to cold and hang in there for at least 15 seconds. It goes against our every being not to stop that sweet, sweet pain that we ourselves have full control over, unlike so many challenges in life that we cannot. There are all kinds of sub-texts here, I’m focusing on mastering your thoughts and external environment.
When that cold water hits, control yourself. Most importantly, control your thoughts. Its just cold water. Your thought process will control how you react to the pain.
You can choose to freak out, or you can choose to treat the cold water as a tool that can make you stronger. What’s a little cold water compared to the power of YOU???
Don’t fight it. Lean into it. Breathe! Connect with it. Find balance within your environment.
What you focus on expands, so if you think it sucks, it will only get worse. You think the cold cares about you? It doesn’t. It. Just. Is… Cold… Take it in.
I’m pretty sure COLD is the original adversity. Like before we had fire. Back when only the most Savage Men and Women roamed the planet.
Take it in and learn from it. If it doesn’t teach you about yourself then the lesson is- you aren’t trying to learn a lesson.
The lesson? You tell me… Here’s my take- External Stimulus doesn’t have to control you. Find out the hard way…Then you’ll never forget.
LET YOUR INNER FIRE BE GREATER THAN THE OUTER STORM
I regret to inform you that at this moment I am neither “badass or savage” This challenge is not just for you, its for me. If this resonates with you, lets hold each other accountable.
Thanks for reading. If you take me up on this challenge, please comment below with your thoughts.
Here are a couple of books/podcasts/speakers I also follow that helped get me here.
“Extreme Ownership” Leif Babin and Jocko Willink
“Cant Hurt Me” David Goggins