I really enjoyed this chapter of Goggin’s book. One of the anecdotes he tells is running the San Diego One Day. It’s held on a one-mile, flat loop in San Diego. The race is 24 hours and 100 miles long. Goggins entered the race without training for it because he was full of bravado.
As the race goes on and his condition seriously deteriorates, he keeps asking himself why he is doing it. His experience led him to the concept of a mental cookie jar. He employs it when he needs a reminder of who he is what he is capable of.
Goggins explains the Cookie Jar this way, “Even if you are feeling low and beat down by life right now, I guarantee you can think of a time or two when you overcame odds and tasted success. It doesn’t have to be a big victory either. It can be something small.”
As he explains, the engine of a rocket ship doesn’t fire without a small spark first. As you are about to find out, all the digging in the emotional dirt you did early was not a masochistic exercise. It serves a beneficial purpose.
Goggins’ sixth challenge, summarized, (from his book) is this:
Take inventory of your Cookie Jar. Crack your journal open again. [Chafed’s note: you have been keeping a journal, haven’t you?] Don’t just write down your achievement list. Include life obstacles you have overcome like quitting smoking, getting over anxiety, or overcoming a stutter. Add in those minor tasks you failed earlier in life but tried again a second or third time and ultimately succeeded. Feel what it was like to overcome those struggles, those opponents, ad win. Then get to work.
Set ambitious goals before each workout and let those past victories carry you to new personal bests. When the pain hits and tries to stop you short of your goal, dunk your fist in, pull out a cookie, and let it fuel you!
Your Cookie Jar can also help with mental growth. If you perform this challenge correctly, and truly challenge yourself, then you will come to a point in any exercise where pain, boredom, or self-doubt kicks in. You will need to push back to get through it. The Cookie Jar is your shortcut to taking control of your own thought process.
The point here is to remember what a badass you are so you can use that energy to succeed again in the heat of battle.