Cold Showers

Many of us are procrastinators because we have a negative, knee-jerk reaction to discomfort. We know that something will “hurt” (force us to face our fears, cause minor/temporary physical or mental strain, take a lot of our time, etc.), so we shy away from it. We put off certain tasks, whatever they may be, until they can no longer be avoided or they cease to be relevant.

The cure is to train our brains not to instinctively flinch away from these minor discomforts. Some people say that we should start taking cold showers to beef up our willpower. This is said to work because we know that the cold water will be shocking, even painful at first, but we also know it won’t kill us. Regularly facing and overcoming our reluctance this way will supposedly toughen us up.

And what I say to that is “Hell no!” It’s a great idea in principle, but my reluctance to do a thing almost never stems from fear of physical discomfort, so why would I deliberately torture myself that way? If it ever becomes necessary due to other circumstances, sure. Until then, no thanks.

But I do see reason to force myself to do the things that I ought to do, no matter how much I don’t want to. That’s why I’m writing this post. This is my “cold shower.” I feel naked and uncomfortable, and I don’t want to do this right now. I also don’t want to work on a story, clean my house, or prep for tomorrow, but I’m going to do all of those things today. I am learning in my own time and my own way to do better, without physical pain. Imagine that.

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