3 weird things to make life harder… that actually make life easier.

What are you going to do this week to get yourself out of your comfort zone?

If someone told you to jump into the lake in the middle of February, would you go?

Without thinking twice, I’d go.

I just hope I’d have a change of clothes with me.

If someone challenged you to get up at 3 am for a week and they’d give you $100, is that worth it to you?

For me it is.

3 am isn’t so bad — and I’d probably learn a lot about myself during that experience.

I do lots of things on the daily to push my comfort zone and establish greater levels of ease in my working life.

There are a few things that I’ve been doing fairly recently and regularly that I don’t think many other people do, but I wanted to speak a little about why they work for me.

They could also be beneficial for you.

1. The Nightly Flossing Routine

Flossing on one foot with my eyes closed. My grandmother talked about how she works on her balance by standing on one foot with her eye closed. So I wanted to immediately work that into my daily life. I looked to take something I already do — like flossing every night — and making a minor adjustment.

Flossing is the same regardless. Now I just do it with my eyes closed and while also focusing on my balance.

I stand on my right foot with the left leg elevated while I do the top of my mouth and then stand on my left foot with the right leg elevated while I floss the bottom of my mouth.

It’s definitely difficult, especially at first.

If you have pretty good balance (or so you think) just try standing on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Let me know how many times you need support or bounce around.

Then by adding another action — even minor — like flossing I’m forcing myself to consciously move through a task while maintaining balance and centeredness on a separate activity.

The goal here is to persevere through necessary tasks while taking the irregular challenge in stride.

2. Pushups and Situps

I do a nightly workout as part of my cooldown routine.

I do a few sets of pushups and a core routine. This workout can take me anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes depending on what I’m doing that particular night.

I’ve noticed my strength greatly increasing so I’ve been looking to switch it up. I know that my muscles need to continue to be challenged if I’m trying to grow.

I started doing pushups on my ab wheel. It’s crazy hard — at least at first. But once you focus on the balance it becomes easier and just a strong discipline to practice.

Now I’ve been hitting sets of 15 on the ab wheel. I’m able to crank them out like a regular pushup on the ground — just not quite as many.

Then there are the explosive pushups that I am striving to do more of also. 1 regular pushup then 1 pushup where I fully elevate. Extended arms & extend legs. Full movement.

One goal is to work up to one-armed pushups.

I don’t just workout to build strength and develop physique.

I workout to sculpt my mind.

The moment my workout feels easy, I know I’m not working hard enough.

Whether that means switching up the style of the pushup, the number of reps, the length of rest, or any other factor — I’m going to switch up and go harder.

The goal here is to put myself through the most difficult workout imaginable so that anything anyone else tries to put me through is easier.

3. Audiobook listening at 3.5x speed

Jim Kwik shared in his book “Limitless”

“The human brain has the capacity to digest up to 400 WPM of information but the average New York speaker talks at about 125 WPM. This means that 3/4 of your brain could be doing something else while someone is speaking to you.”

I had done a decent amount of research into this previously but never had the true numbers.

If the average New Yorker is talking about 125 WPM, we can assume that the narrator for audiobooks is speaking the same speed or lower.

At 3.5 x 125 that puts us at ~420.

I listen to all my audiobooks on Audible. I saw that they had a feature that could increase the speed of the audiobooks.

I started by going from 1x to 1.5x. Took a few days and I was comfortable — that wasn’t much of a change.

I wanted to get up to 2x then after seeing some of the initial research. I also knew that it would be more efficient.

To get there I would listen to an audiobook at 2.5x or 3x for a few minutes, focus in, rewind, and lower down to 2x. By doing that, I was able to “trick’ my mind into feeling like the 2x really wasn’t too quick.

Then I wanted to continue pushing myself and seeing what my limits were. I knew that if I could listen to an audiobook at 3x rather than 2x I could finish 3 audiobooks in the time that it used to take to finish 2 audiobooks.

The goal here is the same as the other 2 things in this piece — it makes me uncomfortable and forces me to adapt and grow.

What are you going to do this week to get yourself out of your comfort zone?

Maybe something that is a simple action — like a cold shower one day.

Maybe something that shocks your system — like drinking ONLY water.

Maybe something that you haven’t done in a while — like running 3 miles.

Just remember that life does not get any easier — we just get stronger.

“I make myself uncomfortable on purpose so that nothing anyone says or does will negatively impact me — because I already experienced worse.”
“ You will be made fun of, you will feel insecure, you may not be the best all the time, you may be the only black, white, Asian, Latino, male, female, or fill in your identity here in a given situation. There are going to be times when you feel alone, GET OVER IT. Our minds are strong. They are our most powerful weapon but we have stopped using them. We have access to so many more resources today than ever before but are so much less capable than those that came before us. If you want to be one of the few that defines those trends in our ever-softening society, you must be willing to go to war with yourself which requires an open mind.” — David Goggins

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