Mark Twain said that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a LIVE frog, you will fill yourself with strength and certainty that you have already conquered the most difficult task of the day.
Please don’t do this.
But there is figurative truth in this saying.
You gain more by doing hard things than easy ones.
Where does the feeling of “strength and certainty” come from after doing difficult things? How do we use this to our advantage?
It’s science, and it’s a powerful tool if you use it.
Our brains are wired in such a way that completing tasks and solving problems floods our brains with happiness.
You chemically reward your brain when you “accomplish” something. You become a happier you. You feel like a winner. The more difficult/important the task, the larger impact it will have on your brain. “Flash-Flood Warning!”
Difficulty and importance are relative to situations and cannot be determined by others.
Yesterday, I started my workout at 4:30 pm with a group of 6 other people. It was a burner. 20 minutes of rowing, burpees, and more CrossFit stuff to be shared with a partner. I decided to do it on my own. In case my next client showed up early, I could hop out and go help them without having to bail on a partner. I figured I had enough time to get all 20:00 in. But after I finished the row, my client, walks through the door. So much for my workout that day.
My only option to train that day would be much later, by myself after we closed.
3 hours later the class was finished, the gym was cleaned, and I was drained. I was hungry. I wanted to relax at home. So instead, I pulled out the rower, leashed my dog to it (ok I wasn’t totally alone) and started chipping away.
I got the lowest score for the day.
But I was a winner.
I was proud that I wasn’t the kind of person who would skip hard things. Even if conditions weren’t favorable.
I distrusted the challenging thoughts my brain was giving me, and I showed it what I wanted to adapt to.
I felt better after that 20:00 beat-down than I usually do after a new PR.
I ate the frog, and I understood.
You must dis-regard the upside (or downside) of what you expect before trying something hard – take action first.
Action steps are how you earn your flash flood of happiness.
What are your action steps for your physical health? What about your mental and social health?
My advice for action steps in these areas:
Your nutrition affects all three and can provide a 10X return on the effort you invest in your action steps.
Would guidance benefit you? Check out our 28-Day Nutrition Fix starting the day after Thanksgiving.
Every action you take matters, and the sooner you do it the better.
Tomorrow, you will be exactly who you are today. The rest of your life is a future projection of who you are today. If you change today, tomorrow will be different. If you don’t change today, the rest of your life is pre-determined.
Plus, by waiting till late at night, I actually got to do the workout with a partner. She’s the kissing type.