Why You Should Practice When Others Take a Break

Imagine a cold evening. It’s raining outside and the streets are empty. In the warm comfort of his home, a young man puts on his running shoes, grabs his keys, and steps out the door to go for a run. Why would he do that and why should you?

Going out for a run in the cold and rainy weather is an example of practicing when most others choose to take a break. Many runners will stay inside during such weather. It’s comfortable, warm, and safe. Yet, practicing when others take a break has many benefits that you should take advantage of.

It’s an opportunity to get ahead of the competition. While others miss a workout, a run, or practice, you are getting another rep in. You learn faster, develop your skills further, and become more experienced. Over time, these little edges add up and create an edge over your competition.

You are better prepared for worse-case-scenarios. If you put yourself in difficult situations repeatedly, you’ll be better prepared for them in the future. You know at least somewhat what to do. For example, as a runner, you will have practiced for snow on race day when you’ve run on snowy winter days many times. You may have prepared by purchasing extra gear, training at higher altitudes or night. Those who opted out of running in such conditions will surprised and slowed down if not taken out when it snows while you’re ready.

You develop resilience and mental toughness. Every uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking, and fear-inducing situation that you overcome increases your resilience, mental toughness, and self-respect. This is why experience proceeds confidence. The more you put yourself in difficult situations, the less you’ll fear them and the more confident you’ll be when you’re in them. Furthermore, overcoming difficult situations reinforces that you think of yourself as a tough person. This can give you the willpower to push on when others quit.

You put cookies in your cookie jar. That’s how David Goggins calls the accomplishments from overcome obstacles in the past that he draws on in difficult situations. The more you practice when others take a break, the more memories of overcome challenges you create. When you’re in a difficult situation you can recall one of these to prevent you from quitting. The more you practice when others take a break the more cookies lie ready in your cookie jar.

You reinforce your habits. Sticking with good habits over the long haul is one of the most difficult challenges that most of us face. One of the best ways to stick with good habits is to “never miss twice”. If you miss a workout get one in the next day. If you eat junk food, make sure the next meal is healthy. If you forgot to read, put a book on your pillow as a reminder to read tonight. Practicing when others take a break ensures that you reinforce good habits and don’t miss twice.

These various benefits add up over time. If you practice when others take a break, you’ll get ahead of your competition, are better prepared for worse-case-scenarios, develop resilience and reinforce your good habits. By the time a challenge comes around, you’re ready to take it on, overcome it, and move onto the next one. Because life will certainly challenge you, it’s good to prepare yourself to live a better life.