How to Build Self Discipline – My #1 Exercise

How to Build Self Discipline – My #1 Exercise


– Hey, what is going on, guys? So today, I wanna talk about a topic I get asked about all the time
and that is self-discipline and specifically, what
I’m gonna do in this video is share an exercise that
I’ve done in the past and that I believe is one of the best ways to build a universally
applicable mental toughness and self-discipline that you can apply to basically any situation. So here is the exercise and it comes in the form of a challenge that I’m gonna issue you. If you’re willing for the next 30 days, take an ice cold shower every single day. Now, I know some of you flinched just at the thought of doing that but like I said, I’ve done this and in fact, I did it for 60 days and now on a regular basis,
I end my showers cold even though I do do
them warm at this point. So the question is why is
an ice cold shower challenge the best way to build self-discipline? Well, to answer that, first,
I wanna talk a little bit about what self-discipline is. At its core, self-discipline is the willingness to accept discomfort and that could be in the form
of physical pain or discomfort or it could be in the
form of the discomfort that comes from denying
yourself instant gratification in service of making progress
on longer term goals. In either case, your ability
to deal with that discomfort is a skill that must be built
through repeated exposure. It’s as Aristotle once said or rather the historian
Will Durant paraphrased, “we are what we repeatedly do. “Excellence then is not
an act, but a habit.” And if you take self-discipline which is one of the core
components of excellence and slot it in there in place
of that word excellence, the quote still holds up and the great thing about this process of building up self-discipline is that no matter how you do
it, it’s an adaptable skill much like our focus or our willpower or the muscles in our bodies. It’s able to tackle a variety
of different situations even if it was trained in a different way. So we’ve laid the foundation
of self-discipline but the question still remains. Why the heck is an ice
cold shower challenge any better than any other method for building that mental toughness? And the answer is twofold. First and most importantly, taking a cold shower is an exercise that is particularly resistant to excuses. So take something else like writing a term paper for example. Say you’ve got a term paper coming up and it’s due in a week. This is an opportunity for your brain to come up with lots of insidious, clever little rationalizations
for not doing it now. You might tell yourself, hey, I’ve got plenty of time remaining. No need to rush things now. In fact, I do work better
under a deadline anyway so I’ll be more creative if
I wait till Friday to start and I’m just gonna play
some Mario Kart now because my schedule seems to be cleared. In any case, you’re gonna
come up with a rationalization that seems to make sense instead of telling yourself the truth which is that you’re lazy and you just don’t wanna do the work. By contrast, taking a cold shower affords you no opportunity
for these clever little rationalizations because you were already
gonna take a shower every day anyway so
you’re left with nothing but a simple binary decision. Either you turn that handle to cold and embrace discomfort head on or you avoid that discomfort
and turn the handle to hot and regardless of what choice you make, you know that the reason you made it is because of your ability
and your willingness to accept or not accept
that level of discomfort. The second reason this
is such a good exercise goes back to what I was saying earlier. You were gonna take a shower anyway so you’re not taking any extra time out of your day to do this. Instead, you’re just
facing that same decision you make every single morning and you’re choosing
discomfort rather than comfort and every time you do it, you’re building that
universal mental toughness that you can use in every other situation and it really is universal. Otherwise, people in boot camp wouldn’t be forced to
scrub floors and toilets because it wouldn’t apply
to combat situations but it does and in the same way a cold shower challenge is
gonna apply to your homework or that side project you’ve been doing after you get home from
work or that gym session you’ve been trying to
convince yourself to go to because all of these things draw from that same
reserved willpower and grit and mental toughness that you build every single time you
face discomfort willingly. So that’s it. I’ve said my piece and I
realize that not everyone is going to like this challenge and hey, I get it, this is ice cold water coming down on your face
every single day for 30 days. That’s not a whole lot of fun but like I said, I’ve done
this challenge myself, in fact, for double the amount of time and I really did see results. Now, the creative people among you might realize that there are
other things you could do that you already do every day where you could just choose
the uncomfortable option rather than the comfortable option. So if you have additional ideas for self-discipline exercises, I would love to hear from you
down in the comments below. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this video and if you did, you can give it a like to support this channel. Also, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you wanna get new videos on productivity, on self-discipline, on being
a more effective learner, you can subscribe right there and on the learning
front, if you’re in school and you wanna get a book on
how to earn better grades whether you’re in high school
or college or whatever, you can get a free copy
of the book I wrote by clicking right there. You can listen to our latest
podcast episode right there and if you click right over there, you’ll find a video that I
don’t know about right now but hey, you’ll probably like it.

Daniel Yohans

3 thoughts on “How to Build Self Discipline – My #1 Exercise

  1. Taryn J says:

    I swim 7 days a week and my pool has ice cold showers…

  2. Rotbart1337 says:

    Could you talk about the topic of how you get that background with this amount of depth of field? I just can't make it work.

  3. SevenDeMagnus says:

    Cool, thanks.

  4. Alpha Sulapas says:

    Batman approves this video.

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