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on to the story…..
This is the podcast version of article that had my dad asking, “Son, are you smoking dope?”
The original was just about finding joy and happiness in things that you do repetitively.
My brother, the math whiz, figured out we spend nearly a year of our lives in the shower. A YEAR. One full year of our life – we could be practicing and getting better.
As a youth coach I tell my kids, if we’re not engaged and paying attention at practice we’re just moving around – it’s a time waster. Hence the podcast about being becoming better, perhaps even pro, at taking a shower. I tell these kids it takes 10,000 res to become an expert, but only if you practice those 10,000 correctly. In my estimation, we do all kinds of things 10,000x in our lifetimes, we just arent aware of it. Its becomes our routine. it’s our job. From tucking in kids to bed, to driving to work, to talking to your spouse and on and on. We are a repetitive animal, the human.
SO here’s the deal. The heart of this article it isn’t at all about the perfect shower. I’m not smoking weed. This article is about being world class at things that you spend a lot of time on. Like this…If I’m going to give you a lifetime to get better or obtain true perfection at something and then told you it wouldn’t take any additional time or effort and you could master it – you would. anything. I would expect to actually continue to get better at it in an ongoing line at an upward angle with an arrow on top. To infinity.
Fair enough, I tell my kids that – keep practicing, get better, hone your skills , refine your craft.
So why as adults do we waste our time and just get into routine ruts of boredom? it turns into a GRIND. It shouldn’t. it’s practice. Because you’re a pro at it – and pro’s practice more than amateurs.
So this article is about that. There are a ton of things we can take a second to engage in and get better throughout our life. Or we can waste it and squander the opportunity.
The little things…stopping to sniff the flowers, a deep breath while truly taking in a sunrise, enjoying my kids playing ball…the perfect shower.
Yes dad, My example…for how to engage in life and get world class at routine things…is the 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. ahhhhh. ahhhhhhhh.
At the end of your life- if you could see a pie graph of all the moments you fully relaxed and just said…ahhhh – a slice of that pie would be showers. I’m sure you ALL could list off your top 3 showers of all time.
So what I’m saying is , “Why not get better at this?”
-and of course, I’m insinuating that as this example sits in and becomes your HABIT – your daily feel great, that you have mastered and have obtained a black belt in – that you will start to find other little things you do routinely and start to collect more black belts in all kinds of life things.
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.
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 engulf me like a tropical storm.
I train a lot of tactical stuff – run and guns type of stuff at a group called APT. The head guy in Charge is the real deal. He’s seen and done it all-
I brought this idea of “the top showers of your life” with him one day.
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.
30 years later, he could instantly go back to that feeling – it brought the hairs on his arm up!
And we miss an opportunity to do this fantastically, every day.
I’ve been improving a lot of stuff like this…this is all real guys! These tiny little changes have seriously impacted my life.
So here’s the shout out to make your routine daily items…better. Get more out of your routine.
OK great Chad, the debate on shower improvement, got it!
But, that’s not enough, let me help you. Let’s dive into the shower for a second.
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. (this isn’t a cold shower…it’s just not HOT. )
Hot tubs feel great but they have a whole different place in your life 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 up in the shower, read on , but don’t do it 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.
as opposed to a deep breath in, and a “fight” 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. – Just like becoming a pro at showering, I think I have perfected the shave – I’d be happy to fill you in if interested.
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 – coconut oil is game changer in multiple facets of life. I’ve bought the first round for my whole staff – they were skepital and now are believers. 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… end your shower with a blast of cold water. You’ll fight this one – as in physically fight your hand to handle. But overcome. 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.
And that’s a good thing.
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.
As Humans, We grow from fear and anxiety… yet we lack it. our bodies react to this lack of stimulus with anxiety, boredom and life just feeling off. Use the cold to add a little safe fear to your morning. Smile as you feel it. What you thought was apprehension of discomfort is FEAR. You feel it, and somehow, it feels …ALIVE. 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. Most likely it is the scariest thing you face all day. Well…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 aren’t 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. Look for the little things, the routine. become a pro at life!