aka “Cold Water Therapy at 10,000 feet”
On August 25, my wife and I were backpacking through Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent a couple of hours at Fern Lake, in a beautiful setting amongst the mountains. After the usual amount of wading around up to my waist, I jumped in the lake, which was freezing! Thankfully the sun was bright and warm, and afterwards I felt so refreshed. I felt really good, in fact.
Then the idea formed in my mind. Tomorrow morning, at dawn, I would jump back in. The warring sides of my mind went to work.
Side A: You’ll be refreshed, awake, and energized for the day. It’s gonna be awesome!
Side B: It’s 50 degrees, it’s dark, and you’ll get hypothermia. Isn’t it enough to hike 6 miles at 9000 ft with 20 pounds on your back?
Both side have valid points, but here’s the rub. I said I was going to jump in, so I set my intention. Side B was set against my intention. And sure enough, when 5:30am hit, the Resistance was in full swing.
“The sky is still dark!”
“It’s cold outside, how do you think the water will feel?”
“Hypothermia is always a nice way to start the day”
“For God’s sake, at least make some coffee!”
But I stumbled out of the tent, in to my shoes, and down the trail. The cold gray sky greeted me, and I kept going…
(If you are viewing this on email or rss, it may not show up, just click through)
Jumping in a cold mountain lake may seem inconsequential, but following through made all the difference in my day. I had stated my intention, and followed through. I knew jumping in would make feel awake, energized, and ready to hike.
When you begin your day with an act which requires more than a zombie-like state of awareness, the act can change your day. The Resistance automatically aligns itself against you, but this is nothing you cannot overcome. In fact, I can say from experience that similar forces of good beging to amass themselves in your favor, and have a snowball effect as you continue towards your set goal. This may seem mystic and psycho-babble, and I have zero research to back it up. I simply feel it.
The mental benefit is that everything else in your day has a heightened sense of possibility to it. After I had jumped in a cold lake at 6:00am, hiking out didn’t seem as lofty of a roadblock. I was ready to go!
How can this work for you? Set an intention for tomorrow, something you can do, but isn’t automatic. Just pick one and do it. Then do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.
- Take a Cold Shower
- 15 minute Run/Walk
- 15 minute Workout
- Meditation or Devotion
- Set 1-3 your Most Important Tasks (MITs)
Good luck with your daily intention, as with any habit, doing this will have a snowball effect. Keep waking up and doing what you intend to do, before you get sidetracked or dissasuaded. You’ll find the effect is powerful!
Let me know what you come up, and how it shapes your day. I would love to hear your stories!
Everything I Know
I write about developing your best self, regularly delivered on Friday