Doing hard things throughout your life keeps you strong and feeling accomplished, but people seldom want to do hard things. Your bodies are built to seek out what is easy, to avoid pain and seek pleasure. For example, hunger pains are the signal that you need to eat. And it is your thirst that drives you to find something to drink. People instinctively avoid these pains to maintain their body chemistry. Likewise, the sugar rush you feel when you eat something sweet pushes you to seek out those foods in the future. This ‘feel good’ physical and emotional state also drives people to scroll social media, drink alcohol, watch TV, use drugs, and have sex, but not necessarily in that order. Your body is built with many checks and balances to maintain your equilibrium. It is a well balanced machine. But if your bodies are built this way is it really that bad to just go with the flow?
The answer is yes and can be clearly seen in the idea of physical exercise. In order for your muscles to grow you must push them beyond their limit. This process creates microtears in the muscle fiber, which is painful. Your body then repairs those tears by injecting amino acids into the muscle cells and you become stronger. Doing what is hard in the gym makes you stronger, but why should you limit this idea to what is physically hard?
The truth is that you can do hard things in multiple areas of life. What if you were to seek out things that were mentally, socially, spiritually, or professionally difficult? The answer is you would grow in all these areas. The #100HardThings challenge is about training yourself to seek what is difficult in life instead of avoiding it. Some types of pain are harmful and that’s not what this is about. It’s also not about competing with others. It’s about training yourself to delay gratification for future reward. It’s about exploring and learning your personal limits to realize your best potential. I didn’t create this hashtag and the idea of pushing through is as old as the ages, but here’s the idea.
100 HARD THINGS
- Do something that is out of your comfort zone.
- Do something that delays gratification.
- Do something more than expected.
- Do something that is physically, spiritually, socially, mentally, or professionally hard.
- Be accountable for your ‘something’ and share – #100hardthings
- Skip a meal or two.
- Run a mile or more.
- Commit to a doing a task daily
- Do 100 pushups in a single day.
- Complete a project you’ve put off.