Learn David Goggin’s Secret For Motivation: The Cookie Jar Method
Would you run a 100-mile marathon if you never even ran a 25-mile marathon in your life before?
You would probably throw a look that says you’re insane if someone asked you that question.
Meet David Goggins. You might know him as a retired Navy SEAL who is also a world-class athlete and a record holder. Back in 2005, before he held many fitness records, he wanted to raise money for a non-profit and as a fundraiser, he wanted to participate in Badwater 135 ultra-marathon. However, one of the preconditions was to run a 100-mile race, which Goggins never did before.
Most of us would instantly give up but not Goggins. Although he was a Navy SEAL and was physically fit, he had not run more than a mile in the past 6 months. The first few miles were fine since he kept a steady pace and breathed properly. Around mile 25, exhaustion started kicking in and he started questioning his fitness limits but he kept on going.
Around mile 50, his thighs tightened up and the idea of completing the 2nd half of the race seemed impossible. Just taking a step felt like a challenge but he kept on going. Around mile 70, he ran out of energy. He couldn’t move anymore so he sat down to rest. At this point, he noticed that there was urine mixed with blood and diarrhea dripping down his legs. He felt that he was experiencing the worst point of his life.
During this phase, where his mind and body had given up, he remembered that this wasn’t the first time he had attempted an impossible task. That simple thought restored some energy. Goggins had now managed to stand up. His mind dug into old memories to help him recall past triumphs. In the end, he managed to finish the marathon. Goggins would go on to accomplish more unbelievable feats based on what he calls the cookie jar method.
Keeping enough motivation to persevere through a hard task is hard. Our minds don’t like uncomfortable situations so we tend to quit easily. In order to keep going, try using the cookie jar method. The cookie jar method is creating a virtual jar that holds all your past victories, accomplishments, and failures.
“The cookie jar is a place in my mind where I put all things bad and good that shaped me. Some people try to forget the bad in their life. I use my bad for strength when needed, great lessons learned. In that cookie jar, I pull out whatever I need for the task at hand.” – David Goggins
You most likely aren’t interested in running a super long marathon but you can use this method to put in more hours on your side business even when you’re tired or to go to the gym when you don’t want to. To use the cookie jar method, you first have to make your cookie jar.
To start, write down some setbacks you overcame or times where you succeeded. If you have big achievements like you started a profitable business on the side against all odds, that’s great. You can also put down simple victories like doing chores even though you were demotivated. Even if you feel down, you have times where you succeeded so recall them and put them in your cookie jar.
Now, the next time you face a hardship, recall a certain cookie. Remember the work you put in to overcome that challenge. Realize the fact that you could have quit back then but you didn’t. The idea is to use your past success to fuel you to new and bigger achievements. One thing to note is that sometimes you need to stop and take a break. If your body is telling you that you need a break, that’s a different story than the mind telling you to quit. If you have blood dripping down your legs, that’s a good sign you need to stop. Most of us won’t be at that point but other signs that you need a break are that you can’t keep your eyes open anymore since you worked too much or your movements are sluggish.
Remember that it is impossible to work all 24 hours in a day because we need sleep. Resting is productive since we all need some rest to be able to recharge for the next day. If you really want to be productive, find out what your limit is, and keep working until you hit that limit. Once you hit your limit, you should stop and call it a day. For most of us though, we can complete our daily to-do list without hitting that limit so we can just work and apply the cookie jar method to keep going.
Life is challenging but the next time you are struggling, pull out your cookie jar, pick a cookie, and take a bite out of it. The cookie will give you extra energy and motivation to keep going.
Source: The Life Formula