As part of my last article about real life adjusted age (RLAA) I spoke on joy. I have since been trying to quantify “joy” to better put an adjusted age on it.
Joy for me is the idea of enjoying the little things in life, simple joys here. I’m not talking weddings and Christmas mornings, not the EMOTIONAL but the minute and routine that we tend to overlook. I think about this stuff.
The little things…flowers, sunrises, kids playing ball…the perfect shower. In a long roundabout way in which I won’t bore you with, I came to the realization that if you nail a shower, I mean crush it…it may in fact be as close to true bliss as you can get on Earth. Now look, there are a lot of great things to do on Earth and throughout life – many that can at least equal the pleasure of a perfect shower. But honestly..if you took your entire best days of your life – the times you were feeling “JOY” and unconsciously had a smile or better and “ahhhh” moment and then condensed all of it into a pie chart – you’d have a slice of the pie that was showers.
Jordan Peterson, of the gazillion best seller list, often talks about getting the things that you do every day, RIGHT. Sleeping is obvious, approx. ⅓ of your life. But everyday tasks such as “coming home from work”, “hanging out with your co-workers” and my addition, “taking a shower” take up a significant chunk of your life. Showers, estimated at 182.5 days of your life count. Let’s do these well. (And that’s at only a 10 minute shower and only 1x/day.)
The point being is…You spend a significant time of your life in the shower. You should OWN this. You should be exceptionally good at this. This should bring you a little joy.
I’ve been contemplating a lot of stuff like this…this is all real guys! I think about stupid but real life things – I debate this and roll it over with my staff.
I got just beat up and worked this weekend doing tactical gun classes. Up and down in the dirt and gravel, millions of loud bangs and just all around wiped out.
The shower I took last night was fabulous – BECAUSE of this. “Self” I said, “I wonder what the best 5 showers of my life have been?”
We all have our all time top 5 list in every aspect of life – if we are aware of it or not…Take just a minute to at least find your best few. My top shower I know without doubt. In my mind I can go back there to the feel of the tile on my feet.
It was just after a 32 hour train ride through India, after first spending a few days in the Tahr desert. My buddy Suddha grew up in a castle. A castle with the best shower ever. There was a ice cold coke and a glass of ice waiting on the sink when I came out of my very own “paradise.” phenomenal! It was so great, I sat on the floor and just let it enguilf me like a tropical storm.
The next day i brought this up my gun course instructor..this guy has seen and done it all, for real.
After chuckling and maybe a sideways look like I was crazy, he had that connection. It did make sense! He stated, “After 45 days in the jungle, I can still remember the shower on the boat ride home, “The rain room” they called it. Pure Heaven.”
A Simple everyday thing that brings incredible JOY. And we miss an opportunity to do this fantastically, every day.
So here’s the shout out to make your routine daily items…better. Get more out of your routine.
OK great Chad, debate on shower improvement, got it!
But, that’s not enough, let me help you.
So, just in case you’ve been half assing your showers and missing a couple fantastic opportunities to put a little smile on your face, here’s some tips on how to maximize your shower time.
- Earn it. Now this of course would not apply to your routine morning shower on the way to work. But as an exceptional treat, a sure fire way to make any routine thing in your life remarkably exceptional is to earn it.
Think of a beer. It’s good. But after spending 2 hours mowing and weeding the yard in the hot sweaty day, it tastes much better. At the end of a tough mudder they hand you a beer. The best beer you’ve ever had. This “earned” tactic goes for anything routine. Earned = savor. Work out hard, yard work, a weekend of camping or tactical gun running instantly upramps your satisfaction.
2) You’ve got the water too hot – you want just a little above your skin temp – it doesn’t sound right – I know, but it’s true.
Hot tubs feel great but they have a whole different place than your daily shower. Your body will have a minute of fight or flight with too hot or too cold. That’s not what you want to start your day. I’ll amp your nervous system in the shower, read on , but not at the front end. Keep your water just a degree or two over skin temp. Typical shower entry goes like this…hand, thigh, back and butt, turn around and get the chest and then the head. You want that water on your head to be an involuntary deep breath out, ahhhhh. This happens with perfect water temperature. A deep breath in, and a “fight” happens when it’s not.
3) Coconut oil in a pump – this is a game changer. It goes everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I shave with it, use it on my hair and body. Yes , I shave in the shower. Seriously, if anybody is interested I think I have perfected the shave – I’d be happy to fill you in. As a chiropractor, I have people with low back injuries from the slight bend of shaving and brushing their teeth over a sink, daily. I’m upright and in the shower now. And Foamy whipped creme looking face is out. It’s silly. I’m telling you, game changer in multiple facets of life. Just watch your step until you get used to it. It makes for slippery floors.
4) Get your lighting right. This is dependant on what you have but change in your lighting changes your day. Corporate bigwigs know this and change lighting in their factories all the time for improved productivity. Mix it up. Try candlelight at night and have fun. Bright fluorescent light to start your day is horrible and makes you look terrible in the mirror. Fix this.
5) The last step is the most controversial. Get ready… turn the faucet onto cold. All the way. The thirty second end to your shower with your only focus being to maintain a natural breathing rhythm will take practice. It’s not easy. It’s often skipped. Here’s the deal. There are a lot of reasons for this.
Cold water almost always is shocking and sucks. It very well could be the worst thing that happens to you all day. Throughout your relaxation and perfection of the shower it will be lingering there in the back of your mind like a thorn. It’s scary. Aubrey Marcus speaks often about how in society in modern times we rarely have to face a lion hunting us or stare down an attacking mongol horde intent on raiding our village.
We grow from fear and anxiety yet we lack it. So add a little safe fear to your morning. Your inner human evolution will thank you as it awakens.
Aside from the fantastic hormone surge and benefits from a cold blast, this alone is what makes it worth it. Your day will be all uphill from this. Immediately. Energized and Alive. You won’t be cold when you step out, the air will seem pleasant and comforting. Your towel will be like a beacon of love and a terry cloth hug of incredible.
Your crabby boss is more tolerable. The guy that cuts you off on your commute is small fries.
“Hey dude, you want to get splashed with cold water to start your day?” – would ALWAYS be a resounding “NO.” Until it’s explained.
Now listen. You will get used to the cold after a week or so. It’s not uncommon for me to go full Wim Hof style and get my 3 minutes and breath holds happening in a freaking “cold as I can get it” shower. But that takes time. That affect immune system, aging, disease all that stuff. But you can’t just jump in like that.
Before you write this last stage off just try it. Start. Your friends arent going to do this so you’ll already have a “one up” on them today. 30 seconds, using all of your will and jedi strength to keep your breathing normal and find your inner focus.
And that’s it. Using an everyday routine, in this case a shower, as a chance to improve your life. A joy bomb that would have been missed as an opportunity for better. Allow yourself a smile in the morning, your face and your spouse have been missing that! You’re naked! – smiling when you’re naked is a exponential to your inner being and it makes God happy.
Now carry on. I know your day can be better.