Back in March, I spoke at TEDxLUC, the independently organized TEDx event at Loyola University. It was my first ever TEDx talk.
I almost didn’t do it because I had a bunch of other things going on and I wasn’t quite sure that I could pull it off in time. But one day I was taking a cold shower and I suddenly knew what I had to talk about.
This wasn’t my first speaking engagement (I’ve spoken at Target and at several colleges), but it’s one of the first that I’ve had recorded. There’s not much else to do here other than link directly to the video, so see below to watch the short video (it’s about ten minutes long).
TEDxLUC – How Cold Shower Therapy™ Can Change Your Life
[click here to watch video on the site]
Of course, I’m adding this video to the list of everything else I’ve written about cold showers on this page.
CST really boils down to one idea that I summed up the TEDx talk:
I said to myself, “If you’re not willing or able to be the type of person that’s willing to be uncomfortable for five minutes alone in the shower, where the only negative outcome is you being cold for five minutes and the only person affected by that decision is you, then how will you ever have the strength or courage to be uncomfortable in a situation where the outcomes are much, much greater and the people affected by your decision far outnumber just yourself?”
If you took a few minutes to watch the video, I would love to hear your thoughts on it below. And, as always, instead of just saying “that’s a great idea,” it would be great if you’d actually try out CST for yourself.
Joel – I think that you’ve got great thoughts, simple and concise and approachable, that the “next level up” of audiences would be interested to hear. Your presentation, though, can use some polish (as one would expect for a person new to this type of venue). Your voice cadence is excellent but you would be more engaging with a wider range of pacing and hand gestures. Going without slides was an interesting choice, but slides also give you something you can point at, making the stage 3-dimensional and breaking up the back and forth walking. Also, editorially I believe that you can make the talk more impactful with a few edits that emphasize even more how everyone has fears holding them back, and cold showers are a way of proving that you’re capable of fearlessness. Consider roping your friends into helping you work at this, polish it up, and get out and do more recorded talks (There are coaches too. My friend Michael Meyer is working his way up the chain, is hitting the “X circuit,” and is working with professionals in order to get up onto the main show in Long Beach). I suggest also Amanda Palmer’s blog posts about prepping for her TED talk, as I think she’s pretty candid about how much work it is to make a talk look easy. And keep up the great work, Joel. I really appreciate your voice reminding me that big accomplishments require persistence and hard work. D.
I think it’s safe to say that you already know I’m a full fledged groupie for CST. Good for you for talking about it! It’s such a simple concept..and yet..people can’t wrap their heads around it. I was just thinking to myself this morning, while I was in my cold shower (I do some of my best thinking there), that it’s time for a new challenge. Something to put at stake for another 30 days while I continue with CST. It truly is the best thing I have ever taken on…it has changed my life, and although on the outside, it might look like my life is the same as it was this time last year..once thing is for certain..I am not the same person.
Jason Jones says
I think it takes a brave man to take a cold shower for 30 days. I do like the analogy between the decision to be uncomfortable and the choice of taking a cold shower.
QuHarrison Terry says
Such a wonderful presentation! I’ve been using your Cold Shower advice and honestly I don’t even realize that much if the shower is cold anymore.
Rebecca and Kyle Moore says
VERY WELL DONE, brother! So proud of you! We’re really impressed with your stage presence and ability to communicate your thoughts so clearly!
Becca and Kyle
You As A Machine says
Yes. I do practice Cold Showers, but a little differently. First, my goal is to be environmentally conscious to not take long showers. I generally start with warm water because I find that it works nicely for the actual washing part, but I always finish with cold water; some days it might be only 30seconds and other days 2minutes…it all depends on my timing. I do love it and it sure feels invigorating. Besides I am used to it because where I swim in an outdoor pool, the outdoor shower is almost always freezing and I force myself to do a good long proper shower before hopping in the pool. (You’d be amazed how many people skip this essential step).
Practicing to be uncomfortable is a very useful tool.
I have taught my kids about finishing off their showers with cold water as well. The best part is that THEY make the decision to do it or not, an incredible opportunity for personal growth.
Slavko Desik says
Man this just blew my mind!
I follow a lot of personal development influencers, but nowadays many of them seem to be regurgitating flowery prose and only add some words that provide context. This is by far the most tangible example I’ve seen that can be used into practice. At first it sounded like common sense suspended, but after you go on and make the analogies it is a must try!
Here is the deal- today it’s the 17th; so starting tomorrow I’m going to do this 30 days in a row (would have started today, but different time zones, and I’m about to go to bed) and write an article on my site about the whole experience. I suspect to have a love/hate relationship with the journey, but I’m used to such challenges.
Great idea, and even better TED talk
Have a great day
Fantastic–great job Joel!
Deanna L. Robinson says
I have a son that has been in the Peace Corp. for just over 2 years, in Suriname. Typically, he bathes in the river, with the rest of his village. Sometimes, he takes rain water , bucket showers. Those are seriously cold showers. When he goes into the capitol, there are only cold showers in the hotels. His younger sister visited him this past January. She thought the showers were cold in the capitol. Then she went out to his village. Rain water made for really cold showers.
I hadn’t thought of making myself take a cold shower. I hadn’t seen a reason to. After watching your talk, I’ve decided, tomorrow morning, I’ll take a cold shower. As an entrepreneur, I could use a cold shower. I need to get MORE uncomfortable.
Thank you for the challenge.
Deanna L. Robinson
Great job with the TED Talk! Amazing how you commanded yourself on stage and clearly covered the topic! I take cold showers but after my normal warm one I just rinse myself using cold water only. It’s great but can’t do it every day. It works. Thanks for the idea.
Congrats! This is a simples, direct and powerful presentation! Thank you once again!
I´m still struggling to complete 30 uninterrupt days of could showers! But I’m already comfortable in that 5 minutes alone, freezing myself! I’ve already accepted the cold, and I felt physical, mental and spiritual improvements! Then, I became a supporter and I’m always spreading this practice!
Thank you Joe! Thank you!
Hey Joel, well done dude! TEDx. Wow!
Great job on the talk itself. I really liked the ‘summed up’ thought a lot.
There’s no way I could argue with that one : )
For someone I have never met, you seem to be kicking my ass a lot. Thanks.
Nice talk. I can tell you practiced. What I enjoyed the most was your transparency.
I’m writing this after just having taken a cold shower to clean up after a run. I’m training for a half marathon, and found Joel’s podcast BBFS and fell in love with the idea of cold showers.
I’ve been doing cold only for 2 weeks and can’t wait until I hit the 30 day mark. I’m just about to quit my job in favor of a better one, and feel like this technique has been giving me an edge on hard decision making and also coping with the difficulty of facing a new job.
My wife thinks I’m nuts, but I’m going to stay the course Joel! Thanks for sharing your TED talk. I just showed my wife and Mother-in-law, and they both really enjoyed it as well.
Bravo. A sensible, duplicatable & private coping mechanism I can apply whenever fear-induced inertia prevents me from reaching out to grab life’s “brass rings”
Congratulations on giving your talk, it was great! Giving a TED talk is actually one of my own goals and I will accomplish it one day. For now though I will go through the cold shower challenge. 30 days to better understanding and overcoming my own hesitations.
Keep up the great work Joel!
Chiara Cokieng says
Joel, I bought CST 1-2 months ago and I have been taking cold showers since. They remind me in a very real way what I have already accomplished and the work that I will have to do every day, over and over again. They also remind me that it’s very uncomfortable and it’s very difficult. But it gets easier. And it’s also always worth it. Every single one of ’em.
Adventure Insider says
Cold shower therapy plus The Impossible Manifesto should awaken even the most timid of spirits.
For me though, your quote below was what set me on the right path.
Are you telling a good story with your life? Would anyone want to read it?
This personally opened by eyes more than any cold shower could.
Congratulations on your Ted talk.
Explore the Adventurous Life
Adele Kirby says
A friend of mine took the cold shower routine through being bullied at high school. It helped him get enough focus and belief to become a black belt in tae kwon do and re-sit his final year to get top marks, then a first at uni, and he’s powered on since. You just made me understand why that worked. Thank you and well done x
Steve Hayes says
It is a really brilliant analysis between the cold shower and the uncomfortable!
I’ve been reading a lot about the important of being outside of the comfort zone, about pushing ourselves. And now I have an idea of how this can be beneficial to us.
Great video, great article! Thanks for sharing.
Blackmailing yourself is where it’s at – it works for me!
Just started a mastermind with 2 other guys to keep each other accountable with our action items.
If we don’t do our items then we have a $25 payment that’s due (we fund loans to 3rd world entrepreneurs at kiva.org)
Thomas Yates says
Okay, I have decided, tomorrow being the first of June, I am going to take a month of cold showers! I still don’t quite get how people say CST is life changing, so I thought I best find out for myself! Bring it on! #boom
Nicholas Alpers says
Well said Joel!
The is for the push. I’ve been looking at an opportunity that is a no-brainier to jump on. Except for the fear.
I’ve already showered today, but will be on the CST starting tomorrow. I think it will help me pull the trigger.
I’ll report back 🙂
Thank you, Joel. Just as your friend in Portland improved your life, so have you improved the lives of countless others.
Roy Marvelous says
This is absolute genius Joel. I’ve occasionally had to take cold showers & hated it (even though I always felt better after). You’ve articulated the reasons perfectly. I’m choosing to be uncomfortable from now on!
Can I take a warm shower after 5 minutes in cold shower or does that defeat the whole point ?
Bob Sharpe says
This is amazing and incredible Joel. I am a big fan of personal development and trying to always and consistently better myself and my leadership but the cold shower therapy is THE way to break out of that comfort zone for sure.
This has me inspired to put it on my list for tomorrow. Thanks for this great TED talk and content!
I have been going 80% for most of my career. And I have done very well at it. Making enough money, impressing enough people, looking like a successful person to those around me, and feeling just good enough about myself. But what about being great? I haven’t gotten that far yet. Because I have only gone to 80%. Always- it’s all I know. But I want to feel what it feels like to hit 100. Which means I need to start feeling that feeling. Being uncomfortable. Starting right now.