The Cookie Jar Method: A Method to Stay Motivated in Difficult Times

  A glass cookie jar full of cookies

No matter who you are, you would have encountered many difficult challenges and struggles during your life. 

Whether these be situations such as working long hours at a job that you hate or encountering relationship problems, we all know just how hard it can be to stay motivated and push forwards with our lives. 

Despite all of the difficult situations that life throws at us, we often find ourselves having a tiny bit more energy and persistence to push through these difficult times. 
This ability to strive forward and carry on is where the concept of the cookie jar method comes in to play. 

An Insight in to The Cookie Jar Method

The Cookie Jar method was developed bya former US Navy Seal called David Goggins.
But, in order to truly understand the Cookie Jar Method, we need to understand who David Goggins is. 

A Background of David Goggins:

  • Former US Navy SEAL
  • Competed in over 60 ultra-triathlons, ultra-marathons, and triathlons
    • Consistently placed in the top 5 of these races 
    • Set numerous course records
  • Former Guinness World Record holder for the most pull-ups in 24 hours
    • He achieved 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours
So, clearly David Goggins is an extremely tough guy!
David Goggins running the 2007 Badwater Ultramarathon

How The Cookie Jar Method Came About

David Goggins wanted to run the Badwater Ultramarathon to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. 
This is a foundation that works closely with the children of special operations soldiers that have unfortunately lost their lives and ultimately provides them with grants and college scholarships. 
So, it is a foundation that is close to Goggins' heart as lots of his close friends sadly died in a helicopter crash when serving in Afghanistan in 2005. 

However, David Goggins was told that he needed to have completed multiple 100 mile races before he could compete in the invitational based Badwater Ultramarathon. 
So, he entered the San Diego 24-hour ultramarathon that began in only 3 days time. 
This meant that David Goggins was effectively going to run the length of 4 marathons at once with no preparation, training or experience in long distance running. 
Clearly this proved to be a near impossible challenge to complete!

The Start of a New Mentality: San Diego 24-hour Ultramarathon

David Goggins running the 2007 Badwater Ultramarathon

During this ultramarathon is where the David Goggins Cookie Jar Method is developed and brought to life.

After 25 miles of the race had passed, Goggins was starting to feel very fatigued. 
He began questioning whether he would be able to complete the race. 
But, he kept persevering despite having the equivalent of 3 more regular marathons left to run!
When he reached 50 miles, his legs felt like concrete bricks. 
He could hardly move them and was experiencing lots of pain. 
But, he kept persevering!

Then, at the 70 mile mark, Goggins felt defeated as blood began dripping down his lifeless legs. He often describes this as being one of the lowest points in his life. He was constantly questioning why he was running the race in the first place and why he is still running.  

But, this soon became a turning point for Goggins. 
He realized that he had overcome many impossible tasks during his time as a US Navy SEAL.  
All of a sudden he felt a spur of energy and began to walk slowly. 
He was remembering all the difficult times he battled through. 
So, in essence he was adopting the emotional mentality that he experienced when overcoming these previous challenges. 
This then pushed him forward to complete 101 miles in 19 hours and 6 minutes.

This whole concept of reminiscing your previous achievements and failures that you conquered is what the Cookie Jar Method is based upon. 


What is The Cookie Jar Method?

The Cookie Jar method is where you mentally store and keep note of all of the past experiences that you've overcome and achieved. 
Then during times when you feel like giving up, you can simply take a cookie out the jar. 

In other words, you can refer back to a previous situation in your life where you overcame a difficult challenge or battled through a tough period in your life.

These difficult situations that you have overcome could include accomplishments such as breaking a bad habit, battling through a period of depression, or healing from a bad injury.

What ever these situations may be for you, they are vital to look back upon in situations where we are finding things challenging. 
This is because they can easily help you to gain a broader perspective and thereby providing you with an extra boost of motivation and strength when you feel like giving up.


Conclusion

We all know just how tough life can be at times!
But, overall David Goggins does an excellent job through his Cookie Jar Method by suggesting that we should always learn from our past experiences and use them to help us conquer our goals and overcome challenges in the present moment. 
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