What’s worse than a cold shower?
I’m drawing a blank.
Stubbing your toe in the middle of the night comes in close second, but cold showers take the cake.
When I even feel the water turning slightly lukewarm, I bail. It’s just not for me and I want no part of it.
But Jesse Itzler, serial entrepreneur and co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, turns his shower water all the way to cold every morning before he turns it to hot…just so he can feel the freezing cold water.
Why on earth would he do that?
Because it sucks, that’s why.
And if you want to be successful, you have to get used to dealing with things that suck.
See, Jesse actually hired a Navy seal to live with him for about a month or so to train him on how to be tougher both mentally and physically.
We’re talking about a guy who was very successful already (and lived a comfortable life) and then decided he wasn’t unlocking his full potential, so he hired a Navy seal to help him feel more pain, essentially.
What Jesse learned was that we all tend to avoid pain because that’s what our brains are programmed to tell us to do.
But the truth is, whenever we feel like we’ve had enough or that we can’t handle something, that’s just our brain’s way of “tapping on our shoulder” to try to tell us we need to back off.
Jesse says whatever your brain taps on your shoulder like that, you’ve really only had about 40% of what you can actually handle.
If you think about it, you can probably pinpoint at least a few times in your life when you thought you were done and you thought you couldn’t do something any longer but for whatever reason you did and everything was fine it just sucked because you’re mine was telling you to go back the entire time.
The Navy SEAL’s advice to Jesse: “do something that sucks every day.”
I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it.
I mean, think about it. You’re going to face something that sucks pretty much every day of your life. There’s just no way around it.
So why not face it head on intentionally in order to get comfortable with that feeling. The more comfortable you are with discomfort, the less it bothers you.
Psychologists talk about using a similar concept to help people face anxiety and depression. It turns out, the more you are afraid of a feeling or of discomfort, the more you feel it and the worse it seems.
So face it head on and don’t beat around the bush. Take that cold shower and embrace the suck. You’ll be a much better person for it in the long run.