The 365 Commitment

Building Mind Calluses – 131 Days Left

Sometimes when doing an activity like getting ready in the morning, packing a suitcase, or cleaning my office (again), I will listen to random YouTube videos on Autoplay. As fate would have it, on the day before I made my run everyday commitment – I landed on this video interview of David Goggins –

This interview is full of gems, but the most important to me was the concept of building Mind Calluses. A little background is required.

If you really are on day 12+ of keeping an incremental habit that will radically improve your life and transport you to your future self, then you are right at the point where your mind starts to betray you. At first the mind is pretty good with self-improvement, but when the going gets tough – things get a little raw and uncomfortable. Your mind wants to retreat where it is uncomfortable and cannot get hurt. When my wife first met me, I was a wannabe Dead Head that walked around a college campus in tie-dye, a ragged pair of shorts and bare foot. I actually was not making any political or social statement, I just quite literally could not afford a pair of shoes and the old pair of top siders that I usually wore had finally fallen apart. During this 3 or 4 months of barefoot walking several things happened. First I really learned to pay attention to where I walked. My feet also got stronger, my arches increased, I was much more nimble and I started to build calluses. To the point where I literally did not feel pain when walking on a hot or cold surface. Sharp rocks did not bother me. Over the course of several months, I got wounds, cuts, abrasions and all of those healed and each time they did – I got calluses. I was able to withstand whatever the ground threw at me and I got tougher and tougher.

My wife, of course, upon getting to know me encouraged rational behavior and probably bought me a pair of shoes. That was the official end of my radical hippie days – as there was no way my wife was going to associate with a bare foot vagabond roaming around the college campus. Needless to say, I am better for it! I digress, the point of the story is that your body will build calluses to protect against the harsh physical environment and so will your mind.

Each time you get your commitment done in a less than ideal environment, you build another mind callus. In my example, every time I ran when it rained, snowed, froze the ground, or wind blew harshly I built a stronger and stronger mind. Little setbacks no longer bother me. I am sure big ones are yet to come and I will have to deal with those when they do – but the point is that my mind is becoming callused to the normal barriers that would prevent me from keeping my commitments.

So you have to suffer a lot. The more you suffer through the hard times, the more you will become callused. This is why I believe a habit takes at least 90 days. You have to build this mind callus strong and it takes time to have life throw all it has at you for a while for you to build a resistance. So I will leave you this morning with the thought that you should relish and get excited when you face difficulty and strife when trying to keep your commitments. Bring it on! That should be your attitude. Yes! Another difficult struggle. Whoohoo! I am going to get stronger after today! Today will accelerate me toward the vision of my future self. I love suffering!

Guy Reams (381)
365 Alumni
131 Days Left to Marathon

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