Choose to Suffer for 15 minutes

What is the best way to start a work day?

I get up, I stretch, I shower, I eat breakfast…  I get to my desk…  and then…  what is the best way to start?

I think I have it.

Choose to suffer for the first 15 minutes.

Kilian Jornet runs

Decide to do the most important, most scary thing and do it for 15 minutes.  Then stop.

The rest of the day is easier now.

My aim for the next 30 days = choose to suffer for 15 minutes before opening email, twitter, facebook, linkedin.

What is suffering?

I am talking here about purposeful suffering.  Sticking a knitting needle in my leg is suffering, but without any purpose.  The part of me that I want to suffer is my ego – the little voice inside my head that doesn’t like change.

Purposeful suffering is doing what your inner voice most complains about.   While I am doing it my inner voice hits me with its wave of negativity: “why is this important?  who is ever going to read this?  who are you to think you have something to say on this?”

The 3 Inner Voices

There are three levels of inner criticism, negative self-talk:

  1. Voice of Judgment:  “This is never going to be as good as Seth Godin’s blog”
  2. Voice of Cynicism:  “This isn’t important; nobody is going to read this”
  3. Voice of Fear: “who am I to be writing?  why would anyone read my writing?”

You know you are doing something that is Purposeful Suffering when you get the Voice of Fear engaged.

What do you think?  A good way to get a work day started?  Or just plain stupid?

One response to “Choose to Suffer for 15 minutes”

  1. Great article, Conor. Reminds me of the little Venn diagram with a large circle saying ‘Your Comfort Zone’ and a smaller circle to the right saying ‘Where Growth Happens’.

    Am going to sign up for your Speak as a Leader course right now – wasn’t aware of it.

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