Episode 9: Embracing Difficult with Shane Jacob

About This Episode

Perceived difficulty level and achievement are related because people who are high achievers embrace what most of us consider difficult things.


Transcript for this weeks message

Shane Jacob

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this episode of The Horsemanship Journey Podcast. I'm Shane Jacob, your host. This episode is brought to you by Cowboy Cuffs, classic Western wear. This shirt right here is called the Oasis at Night shirt. Elevate your style, elevate your life with Cowboy Cuffs, Classic Western wear. Appreciate that.  

I want to begin today with a couple of stories. All right, here we go. You know, a friend of mine was staying with me quite a number of years ago, Rick Steed. He's a world -class trainer. He's a top horse trainer. Anyway, many years ago, he was staying with me here for a little while and here at THJ, now known as THJ headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. And so what would happen was is, he'd come and wake me up pretty late in the morning. And I'd get up and he had fed the horses. And at the time we probably had 20,30 horses here, probably maybe closer to 30. He had fed the horses and then he would go rope the dummy and he would get 100 head catches in a row. Okay. So by the time he's beating on my bedroom door, trying to wake me up, he's fed the horses and roped a hundred head in a row. Okay, that's story number one.

Story number two is I heard Ed Milett in a podcast say that he does cold plunges. I've done one cold plunge, kind of two. I'll tell you a little bit more about that. But he does these cold plunges or cold showers or whatever exactly he does. But he says that the point that he does, the reason that he does it has nothing to do with health. Matter of fact, he said that there's even evidence that it's not even healthy for you. He says the reason that he does it is because it's difficult and he embraces difficult things, which I thought was extremely interesting.

Next story, today in our feed company. Our feed company is Jacob Livestock here in Las Vegas. We have a horse feed company here. And here's an example. Today is the day after payday and we had two men call out sick today. And then we had one gal JJ who is I don't know maybe barely 20 years old and she wasn't feeling well and she came to work to where she was feeling so bad that finally her manager Just had to ask her to leave and go home.

Okay, so there's the three stories the question is, What? I'm going to come back to the cold thing first. Just let me just tell you this. Just before this episode, here's one more story. Just before this episode right now, I did my own kind of mini cold plunge. I did one cold plunge officially with Marvelous Mark. He does one Marvelous Mark rocks. He was on The Horsemanship Journey Show. Great episode. Incredible individual. I went to his place and did his New Year's Eve plunge a year before last. And that was quite an experience. But right before this podcast, I said, okay, if Ed Mylett can do this because it's difficult, I'm going to do something difficult. So I said, all right, I turned on the shower colds. It could be this morning and I just went for it and it was cold. And, I could see why I hadn't done that before. I was just like, whoo, whoo breathing, you know, breathe. It's quite a bit of a shock to the system to go into that cold. And it's not even probably that cold of water. I have no idea what the temperature was.

Now, why am I telling you these stories? There's a common theme and the common theme in these stories is, is difficulty. Okay, and maybe why we would do difficult things Brooke Castillo the founder of Life Coach School has a very successful business in that last year, the year before she was a 52 million dollar business and she has been a life coach for I think 15 plus years. She says that being willing to feel any emotion is what she credits the majority of her, that's the biggest thing that she credits her success to.

So what does that mean? Why are we talking about these stories and what does it mean being willing to feel any emotion? Being willing to feel any emotion like what? Like here's an example, by not avoiding fear, by being willing to experience fear, not avoiding the discomfort that comes with growth.

That's mainly what she's talking about, the way I understand it, is just being willing to embrace difficult things. You know, the thing about I mentioned about Rick Steed, me sleeping and him up. You know, I the reason I didn't do it was because I thought it was too hard. And it was, there was a level of difficulty that at the time with my drinking, I had no, you know, there's no way I'm going to get up at the hour that you did and go rope100 heads in a row and have the horses saddled and loaded and just waiting for me to get my tail out of bed so we can be off of the day.

But as a result of that, Rick's an incredible roper and I mean incredible in the ranch, competition, standings, many world titles and all kinds of different things. And he didn't have any of those world titles back then. The reason that he got all of his world titles is not necessarily because he was roping 100 heads every morning at the time that he was here. It's an example of Rick being willing to embrace that. He is an incredible roper, by the way, but being willing to embrace difficult things and then reaping the reward of that.

The example of the guys at work. Now I'm not making judgment because I don't know how sick those guys were. And I'm not suggesting that people should go to work sick and get other people sick and all that. I am suggesting when I look at the young lady that came to work today, that she came during, and it would have been very easy for her to call out. And I have a lot of respect for her for doing a difficult thing, coming to work and trying to power through it, just to have the courage and the internal drive to be able todo that. I can appreciate that and I respect that. Again, not that I don't respect, I don't have the full story of the other guys that called out. It's just, I say that without, judgment on them. It's just an observation of what happened today and to her credit, I don't know about them.

Okay. So, so what's really going on here and how does this apply or, relate to you and I? Okay. Our brain as we know is the natural man or our natural state or the way that we come into this world. Our default is to avoid pain and seek pleasure. That's kind of what we do. That's what we're here for. Left to our own, that's what we will usually do all of the time, okay?

So, you know, last year I had a goal and in preparing for this podcast, I'm re -upping my goal that I kind of let go for a while that I did last year. I'm gonna do it again this year because I heard somebody tell me, I copied this idea from somebody I can't even remember, but they said that what they do, and I did this last year,

And again, I'm recommitting to it for this year, is that they, the first thing they do in the morning when they begin their day is they do two things that they don't want to. Okay? So, I mean, just think about that. If that were you and you were to do that, what would those things be? What would you do? What are two things that you don't want to do right now that maybe if you did, you would be thankful for doing in the future, thankful for yourself for doing now, your future self would appreciate you for doing it be grateful for you doing it right now, okay? Just think about that. What is procrastination anyway, right? What even is procrastination? What's at the core of procrastination? Why don't we just if we want to do these things? Why don't we just do them? Basically the answer is, is what we said before. Our default, our natural brain is we're just gonna seek pleasure and avoid pain and if it looks a little bit painful I mean, why would we do it and really what's at the core of procrastination is fear?

Fear is at the core of procrastination is what I'm telling you. What do you mean fear? Fear of what? Fear of discomfort? Fear of feeling these emotions that Brooke's talking about. Really, what if we were todo these things that are difficult? You know what I found myself doing last year when I had this goal? And I did do it. Most, almost every day, I did two things that I didn't want to do. It was looking at front of me, I had a note on my desk, and the first thing was do two things I don't want to do. And you know what I found? Here's what I observed.

A lot of the things that I was doing or not doing that I was putting off the difficult things that I did were difficult conversations. Somebody had messaged me in a text or leave a voicemail and like, man, I don't know. It's gonna be a little bit difficult to do it so I didn't do it. And in my mind, then it would get more difficult and very difficult. I'm like, I don't know. And I just put it off. It would come to me and I would immediately put it off until I recognized that.

Okay, what are two things? And then I would see what was happening. Difficult conversations are one thing that was happening for me. What would it be for you? There's always, the thing about, procrastination. Here's another thing. There's always something to gain or we wouldn't be doing it. We wouldn't be procrastinating if there wasn't something to gain. So here's what I mean by that. It's just easier. It's a little bit more pleasure. It might be a little discomfort if I didn't make those phone calls, right? Or have those more difficult phone conversations. That's just one of the things. There were a lot of things that I didn't want to do and I did, but I found that I was kind of avoiding. That I had a little bit of fear, of the little bit of the discomfort or, a little bit of the pain.

You know, when I was drinking for a living and I drank solid, I was a hundred percenter for a lot of years, decades. Okay. And it was, I got a lot of reward out of drinking. I loved to drink. The reason I did it wasn't because that it destroyed my earning ability, my ability to learn and progress as a human being and evolve. And the reason I did it was not because I deteriorated and destroyed every relationship in my life. That's not why I did it. I did it for the other side of that which is the pleasure that I got from drinking. There was a lot to gain. It felt like at the time it felt good, it felt relaxing, it felt peaceful in those moments. Meanwhile, I'm eroding everything else, but there was something to gain.

I think it's important that we recognize if you are procrastinating anything, what is it that you're gaining? Procrastination is the same thing. It's what are we avoiding?  It feels better in the moment not to do the thing, but then we suffer in the future. And then a lot of times what we do is we beat ourselves up and say that we suck because we don't do what? We don't keep our promises to ourselves, right? Or we put them off, we put them off, we put them off, and then they end up, we wish we would have done it because then we're getting a negative result that has all these bad consequences because we just didn't do the thing in the beginning.

Okay, so here's the key that helps me. And I hope it actually. It will help you if you adopt this too. Okay, here's what I'm working on. It's a few steps. Number one is to recognize the avoidance. Okay, to recognize the avoidance, like I said, I've readopted two things that I'm gonna do that I don't wanna do. I'm doing it again this year, starting now. So the first step is just to recognize, to be aware, because it's so easy not to be aware. It's like we have this, it's like a fleeting thing. Should we do this? We make a quick, almost, unconscious or we're totally, we're not hardly conscious that we're making the decision. We're going to put it off because it's easier. We'll do it later, blah, blah, blah. The first key is to recognize the avoidance. Okay. That's number one.

The second one is just to think about it. Okay. Just think about it. Wait a minute, am I just putting this off? Is that what's happening right here? And to observe what's happening to you. Observe how you feel. Okay. Think about it, observe what's happening and observe how you feel about what's happening to you in the moment.

The next step is to avoid the future, excuse me, to think about the future consequence of avoiding or doing. Think about the future consequence of either avoiding or doing. What I like to do is the next step after that, after I've recognized it, I've thought about it, I've thought about the future consequence, what I like to do is I like to make it a competition. That's what I like to do. Am I going to let this thing, whatever it is, beat me? And I make it a competition and then I want to win. And I usually do win the competition because usually when I look at it, what I see is in the future, I'm going to thank myself and it is a good decision to do it rather than avoid. Then I put it into a competition and say, okay, this is going to be a little bit difficult. Am I going to let a little bit of difficulty or a little bit of discomfort win in this thing? Yes or no. And then I do it.

And that's what helps me is to make it into a competition. It's my own personal competition, but I still like to win, right? And I think you like to win too. The thing of it is I have never regretting doing the difficult when I go through that thought process right there. Okay. Now, you know, we hear this thing. Well, if you continue to do, the difficult things, they get to be easier and easier and easier. And then they just become a natural thing. Well, maybe that's true with some things, but the thing that I've found is that difficult things are difficult things and they're just going to be difficult things and if that one gets comfortable then there'll be plenty more that'll difficult. I have resigned myself that there's going to be a high percentage of life that's going to be difficult and it's going to, I'm working on having it being okay and I submit to you that if you also have it be okay and more embrace difficult things then your level of progression and achievement will increase and in the end, your future self will appreciate the decisions that you're making by doing rather than avoiding.

Okay? This is really easy to say, but not so easy to do in the moment. Okay? So what is it for you? What are you avoiding? What are you avoiding right now? What are you putting off? What decisions are you making that are difficult that you know, that you know that your future self would appreciate if you made a different decision? Maybe it's a difficult conversation like I suggested a lot of times it is with me. Maybe it's a new routine. maybe it's a physical discomfort that you're trying to avoid, such as hunger, maybe cravings, withdrawals, sore muscles from exercising or working out. It could be any of these things. Remember, here's the deal. It's normal for our brains to guide us to avoid pain and seek pleasure. It's totally normal. That's just the way it is. So just make sure that you know that that's okay and that's the way it is. The thing about it is, is what are we gonna do with it, right? And what I'm saying is, is that if we become aware of what we're avoiding.

I'm gonna go through them again, that if we, one, recognize the avoidance, okay? That if we really, if we take the time and we're aware of ourselves, okay, this is a part of progression, becoming excellent in whatever area of life, in life in period. Okay. it always begins with awareness. So recognize the avoidance, at least be aware that, Hey, I'm putting this off and then question it. Think about it. Second step is just to think about it. Observe what's happening to you and really observe what you're feeling. Okay. And observe what you're trying to avoid potentially not feeling by not doing. Okay. The third step is to think about the future consequence, okay? Just to sit back and really just think about, if I put this conversation off, what difference is it gonna make? What difference is it gonna make to the person on the other end of this that's expecting a conversation? What difference is it gonna make to me? And how much is it gonna be gnawed on me in the back of my mind this whole time until I get it done?

Because here's one more piece of this, just let me take a break from these steps, and that is, I think almost, every time, I don't think I've had any exceptions that when I intentionally set out to do the difficult thing, the thing that I don't want to do, the thing that I know that I'll be happy if I do, I have not regretted it. And it's given me peace and breathe easier and the whole rest of my day and week and month and everything. It's like a relief. It's like a weight off. So talk about the pleasure. It's the, thinking about the future consequence.

Step three, is thinking about the future consequence of avoiding or doing. And again, I recommend you do what I do. Make it a competition. Step four is to make it a competition. It's like, all right, I know I'm gonna be happy that I do this, so why wouldn't I do it? The reason is, is because it's gonna be a little bit pleasurable and I might avoid some discomfort at some level. So I'm not saying it's a bad reason. I mean, you're going to get an avoidance of possibly pain or discomfort. So there's going to be a gain there. I am suggesting that you make it a competition to say, I am not going to, am I going to let, you know, the fear of a certain way of feeling. When this, this thing, or am I going to do the thing and then I win the thing. Okay.

If I make it a competition, then I want to win, even though the competition's with me. Okay. Really that should be the most important competitions that we have and the most important, person that we want to be true to is ourselves. So I make it a competition, then go for it and then do it because  I win the competition by doing. Okay. That's the next step. And I'm telling you that you will never regret doing the difficult.

Ladies and gentlemen, we appreciate you being with us today. Thank you for being with us today. And remember, Don't Ever Stop Chasin It.

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