I am going to ask you to do something within the next 24 hours of reading this post. The hack is simple, but not easy. If you do it, it has the power to jumpstart your life.
Here it is: Go take a cold shower and stay under the cold water as long as you can tolerate it.
Now that I have told you the hack, there are only two paths you can take: You either do it or you don’t.
If you don’t do it, you can create and manufacture any number of plausible, rational, and acceptable reasons for why you choose not to do it. Maybe you think it won’t deliver the promised results; maybe you think it is unnecessary or just plain stupid; maybe you think it unwise because you may catch a cold (you won’t); or maybe you think you’ll get around to doing someday but just not within the next 24 hours. Regardless of the veracity of these reasons, if you don’t do it, you must accept that you did not do it. There are no excuses.
If, however, you accepted the challenge — congratulations. What you will discover is that your initial thoughts and concerns of discomfort, pain, nervousness, or angst will be quickly dispatched by the shock of the cold water. While never comfortable, you may even experience a brief period where the discomfort dissipates for a short time before your body begins to grow legitimately cold.
Once you step out of the shower the discomfort will rapidly give way to the relative warmth of the room. Moreover, in the post adrenaline rush, you may even feel energized, empowered, alive, and awakened.
All are wonderful byproducts of the hack, but they are not the purpose of the exercise. The reason a cold shower can jumpstart your life is because it is a tangible reminder that in spite of your initial nerves and concerns, the act did not leave a permanent scar on your body, psyche, or soul.
In life, we all face uncomfortable decisions. (In my case, it was publicly admitting that a tree spoke to me.) Many of us put off making these decisions in the mistaken belief that the outcome of performing the act will somehow be more painful and longer-lasting than not doing it. This is rarely true.
Perhaps you’re nervous about asking a boss for a raise or a promotion; maybe you are wary of bringing her a new idea or product concept; maybe you’re thinking of picking up stakes and moving to a new city; maybe you’re contemplating entering into or ending a meaningful relationship; or maybe you need to confront a parent over-a-long held grievance or hurt.
Here is my advice: Whatever your challenge is take a long, cold shower, dry off, get dressed and then step up and into that challenge. After all, the only way to expand your comfort zone is by pushing into uncomfortable areas and performing uncomfortable acts.
Jack Uldrich is a best-selling author and keynote speaker. His latest book, Business as Unusual: A Futurist’s Unorthodox, Unconventional, and Uncomfortable Guide to Doing Business is available on Amazon.com.