Waking up sucks. I think most people who wake up to go to their 9–5 would agree. But even on days when I’m doing something I actually want to do, I still find myself struggling to get out of bed. Why the hell is that? Whether I’m going to work, hanging out with friends or going for a nice long run, I always find myself hitting that dreaded snooze button.
On some days, however, I am able to resist the urge to snooze my alarm. And it's usually these days that end up being super productive and exciting. Just moments after waking up, I feel like I have already accomplished so much. It’s decisions like these — small and seemingly insignificant — that don’t impact too much over the course of day. Maybe I’m a few minutes late to work or have to buy lunch instead of packing, but nothing substantial. But, compounded over weeks, months or even years, these ‘insignificant’ decisions can end up making a HUGE impact.
It’s also these decisions that can transform a normal day into an exceptional one. In life, there are a lot of things we must do that we don’t like doing. Taking out the trash, picking up your dog’s poop or going to work. We all have to do these things, regardless of if we want to or not. (Well I guess not the dog’s poop one but if you don’t, you’re kinda a jerk). But when we consciously make the decision to do something we don’t like and are not required to do, we are subconsciously disciplining our minds.
This is the exact reason I take cold showers. I’m not going to lie to you, I hate taking cold showers. Despite the numerous benefits for my body, I still do not enjoy stepping into an ice cold shower after waking up. And that’s why it’s so powerful when I do take one. Each day that I am able to force myself to turn that damned nozzle all the way to right, I end up feeling amazing for the rest of the day. Last minute project slammed on my desk at work? I’ll handle it. Stepped in a huge puddle? Not a problem. Tons traffic on the way to work? Extra time to listen to podcasts.
The power is in being able to ignore the excuses and get the job done anyways. By tackling the freezing cold water, I’m starting an early trend of overcoming adversity.
A five minute cold shower is such a small sacrifice compared to the immense benefits I get in the long term. Despite this, everyday my brain makes up hundreds of excuses as to why today isn’t a good day for a cold shower. I think I’m feeling a cold coming on. One day off won’t hurt. No one else is doing it. The power is in being able to ignore the excuses and get the job done anyways. By tackling the freezing cold water, I’m starting an early trend of overcoming adversity. I feel energized and excited, and it’s a great feeling knowing I was able to push myself to do something that makes me super uncomfortable. Not only do I feel sharper, both mentally and emotionally, but my body also feels less sore and achy. Overall, it’s a tool I use daily to sharpen my mind and force myself to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
These little decisions, although often overlooked, can be enormously powerful. It is my belief that they are created specifically for us to optimize our day and our life. If overlooked for a period of time, there aren’t many negatives. But, take advantage of these choices and push through the excuses and the benefits can be life-changing. Small downside but huge upside. I like those odds. Take a moment to audit your life for these small decisions that could end up making a huge impact. So go ahead, turn that shower knob all the way to the right!