A while ago, I read this article by Kyle Eschenroeder. It talks about some heuristics in striving for a fulfilled life and some pitfalls you might want to avoid in today’s society, where you can essentially pursue whatever you want.

Kyle introduces the concept of eudaimonia, which proposes acts that might cost some extra effort in the moment, but leave you feeling good about yourself later on. These acts are also very much about bettering yourself as a human. Getting up earlier to work out might not feel great while you’re struggling to crawl out of bed, but as you leave the gym, it will leave you with a sense of satisfaction — I did well today.

This post is about such an eudaimonic deed. Taking cold showers. First thing in the morning, every day. How the hell is freezing my ass off going to help me be a better human being?, you might ask. Great question. Here’s why I think it is a good idea.

Wakes you up. Thoroughly.

No 2-hour wake up stagger until you hit your stride. This synergizes nicely with trying to build a habit of getting up earlier! You might as well stay in bed if your brain-fog prevents you from doing anything useful.

Requires you to step outside your comfort zone.

This in itself is worthwhile, but you also want to practice getting out of your comfort zone over and over. Getting it done first thing in the morning allows you to:

  • Form a habit very easily
  • Not be as tempted to skip it, because it sucks (it does) Most people tend to not think a lot right after getting up, this helps.
  • Health benefits There probably are some, but I don’t even care.

That’s it for my first post.