I put my head under that steaming hot shower head to give myself a small taste of what I don’t want to be. Slowly, I turn the knob all the way in the direction of the blue C at the bottom of the handle. I close my eyes and tell myself as the water gets colder and colder that nothing is more powerful than a man who can harness his emotions, his past, citing one of my favorite quotes from Act of Valor.
Why would I do this? Why take a cold shower when clearly a warm shower feels so much better? There are several reasons why I almost never take comfortable showers anymore. It’s not because I’m some tough guy. I’m not. It’s also not to save hot water like a tight ass.
The biggest reason I surrender myself to the cold is because it’s the quickest way to break one’s spirit. Being cold makes one appreciate warmth so much more. It attempts to make one reason with one’s self to settle, to quit, and surrender to the average life. It’s totally reasonable to turn the knob warmer. In fact, I want to every, single night. But, I never do. I know the inner battles I fight need to be won before I do anything great with my life.
Just like you, I battle the resistance. I battle the decision to take the easy way or the right way. The easy way promises to be smooth sailing, warm, cozy, comfortable, and frankly mediocre at best. The right way is filled with turmoil, challenges, pain, and greatness.
That reminds me..
I just spoke to a good buddy who was having a particularly tough battle today rising early in the morning to train before work. He mentioned that he really had to dig deep to find the strength to get in the gym at 5 a.m. to get a session in. That’s the resistance talking to him. He could have easily slept in more and felt more rested for work. That’s the reasonable thing to do. The problem is that he’s great. Great people who make change in this world are not reasonable whatsoever. They consistently choose the right path.
There are so many historical examples to cite, but we all know that truly awesome people, who lead meaningful, productive, and rewarding lives all understand the resistance chases their every move. I’ve quoted Steven Pressfield more than a few times here on this blog because he wrote a whole book about the resistance in the War of Art. Here is a shortened description –
“Resistance is what keeps an entrepreneur from making the cold calls he knows he has to, to get his business rolling. It’s the force that keeps an aspiring painter away from her studio, or makes a writer back off from the blank page. Resistance stops us from going to the gym, from meditating, from donating our time to a cause we believe in.” S. Pressfield.
We all know exactly what he’s talking about whether you want to hear or not. The inner battle we all face everyday can be won, but only if we stare it down, and practice beating it. This is why I chose cold showers. I feel the need to actively seek out my resistance. By making a promise to myself each night not to turn the handle warm, not to give in to my temporary comfort, I build a fortress to guard against the easy way.
I’d like to offer up a challenge to you. Go a month without taking a warm shower. Have a calendar to check off the days you successfully complete. As soon as you feel the cold, the discomfort, you will get a face to face look at the resistance. It’s the same menacing face that shows up when you don’t want to get out of bed, when you don’t want to do another rep, or when you don’t want to finish your homework.
There will be some nights that are easy. That’s because you are inspired, fired up. But other nights it will be cold and lonely. Those nights you must listen closely to the voice whispering to you not to give in and finish your task, no matter how challenging.
P.S. If you want to find out what your made of, join us in this journey on the right path. Catch our updates below.