Learn to Dose Your Pain
Here’s a quick checklist for internalizing the process of the “dosing of pain,” the proper management of time, and the fast decision-making of the Rule of Upside Downside.
Realize that time is the most precious asset we have. Once you truly understand this, you learn how to make sure you don’t waste any. All of your time is used in a way that maximizes the achievement of your goals. Understand that time passes whether we like it or not. Every second another second is gone. When you truly understand that, it helps you in those moments when you’re uncomfortable. You know you can handle it if it’s for a greater good.
Why does quick decision making matter here? You don’t want to waste more time than required in making decisions. This will sound harsh but none of us know if we will be here one minute from now. If you understand that, you won’t want to waste time being unproductive. If you can make accurate decisions quickly, you have time to enjoy the fruits of those decisions.
I always try to look at the upside versus the downside of each decision. You should value:
I’ll trudge through endurance events for days on end, but I’ll make trivial and life-changing decisions alike on a dime. While this may seem contradictory, it reflects another aspect of the Spartan-ness. We are decisive, but we’re more than that. We are decisive fast. To “Spartan up!” you must decide things quickly. Wait too long, and you’ll lose. If you are losing, lose fast, get it over with, move over, and start winning. It’s a lesson I learned on Wall Street many times: sometimes you need to cut your losses quickly so you’re not totally fucked later on.
The Rule of Upside Downside holds that before deciding on a course of action, you should think quickly about the positive effects and negative effects of it, weigh them, and decide. I’ve always been really good at making quick decisions. What’s my downside? This is the question I ask myself dozens of times per day.
I do the work because this upside-downside analysis is constantly going through my head. And pretty much every time, the result of the analysis is: Work harder. Be better. Do more.
Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life