For the past 3 days I’ve had nothing but eggs and oatmeal. It’s a part of a fast of sorts. One not from food entirely, but from the joys and pleasures that food normally brings. It’s a fast of simplicity and frugality.
I’ve worn the same clothes for 3 days and eaten the same food for 3 days. No booze. No steak or bacon. No pleasure from what I ate at all. It’s actually been tough. It’s been tough to not add salt and pepper or ketchup to the eggs and sugar or honey or berries to the oatmeal.
It’s been tough to walk into a kitchen and not get a single ounce of joy from what I was eating. It was difficult to not grab one of the many tasty treats in the fridge that are usually a main part of my meal, fry them up, and eat those bastards like my life depended on it.
What a little bitch.
For one, there are humans all over the world that would kill – likely literally – for 3 days of eggs and plain oatmeal. In times past we as humans would go weeks with just bread and broth. If my ancestors could see me now…
… Struggling to stick to two foods groups when a clear end is in sight and the two food groups aren’t actually all that bad.
Practice Toughness or Weakness
Every day we’re either practicing toughness or weakness. There is no middle ground as clearly displayed by this little fast I had over the past few days.
Every day as we give into our desires we weaken. As we eat whatever we want, even if what we want is healthy and tasty, we are becoming dependent on those little moments for joy.
Now, this isn’t to say a life should be lived in avoidance of joy, but that by constantly giving into our desires we’re training our minds and our spirits to expect said desires to be fulfilled and quenched whenever we want them to be.
This is not healthy. Not for a human who wants to be able to persist through the tough times that life always brings, nor for a human who wants to be able to push themselves further, far beyond their zones of comfort into the world of exploration and adventure.
If you want to accomplish anything in life, and that includes having a meaningful and happy life, you must practice toughness, and if not daily, monthly and weekly. There must be things in your life that buck the trends of our easy society and acquires not ease, but hardship, not endless options but frugality and simplicity.
Limit Your Pleasures
We live in a society devoid of what was once normal and expected. It was once normal and expected for a man to have to hunt for his food, to farm for the same. It was once normal and expected for a man to live primarily in the same place his entire life. Vacations were a luxury only for kings and queens and emperors. (Read This: You Don’t Deserve a Vacation)
Today we have everything we need around us. Our homes protect us from the elements, as do our vehicles. There is little hardship we truly face on a daily basis, and when we do face hardship it’s usually centered around money, not life and death.
We are soft. Even the strong among us are dependent on how our society is now structured.
So, practice grit by limiting your pleasures.
Every couple of months, spend 3-4 days eating only two food groups. Make sure they’re cheap. Make sure they’re boring and bland. I chose oatmeal and eggs, you may choose beans and rice.
Also try the following:
Wear the same clothes for 3-4 days. We’re so tied into image, into how we look and how we’re seen that we depend on our clothes to feel valuable and proud. Dress with simplicity and frugality.
Fast from technology. It’s incredible how dependent we are not just for our survival, but emotionally, to the technology that now almost runs our lives. We can’t experience an event for the sake of the event, it must be broadcast or else it’s as if it never really happened.
Find little things in your life that give you pleasure. Remove them for a period of 3-4 days, longer if you’re up for it, and practice being reliant on nothing, dependent on little, and tougher the more you practice discipline.
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’s a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
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