The first part of making amazing memories is doing amazing things, but the second part of it is REMEMBERING those things. The “Jar of Awesome,” which is a concept I got from Tim Ferriss, helps with the 2nd part of that equation — and we need that. Like David Goggins says:
“Remembering what you’ve been through and how that has strengthened your mindset can lift you out of a negative brain loop and help you bypass those weak, one-second impulses to give in. Even if you’re feeling low and beat down by life right now, I guarantee you can think of a time or two when you overcame odds and tasted success.”
The way most of us think is very “state-dependent” and what I mean by that is how we are feeling in the moment has a bigger impact on how we think, what we believe and what we remember than most people realize. If your girl did something 10 minutes ago that made you really angry and someone asked, “what is your relationship like,” you’re a lot more likely to be negative than you were earlier in the day when she was massaging your shoulders. If you’re a feeling a little down and someone asks you what kind of year you had, you are more likely to say, “It was terrible” than you would be if you were thrilled out of your mind because you just ran your first half-marathon.
So, if you’re not feeling your best, one great thing to do is to review the successes and highlights of your life. Sometimes, it may feel like those should come easy. Like this year, I went into the Statue of Liberty’s Head.
When I was in Atlanta for the Menfluential Conference, I went to the aquarium and just standing a few feet from living creatures as huge as Beluga Whales was incredible.
Now you might think it’s a given that you’d remember experiences like this, but again, if your state is bad, you may not be able to really think of anything but negatives. That’s one of the reasons that having a “Jar of Awesome” is fantastic. It keeps your eyes on your big successes.
However, the other thing you have to keep in mind is that you can have some small moments that you probably wouldn’t remember normally, that can make you feel great. For example, I started doing this in 2017 and so I broke out my jar for that year.
Would I have remembered myself being absolutely blown away by how amazing the food was at the Angus Barn in Raleigh? How about feeling weirdly proud of myself for being completely unphased after asking out an attractive woman in front of her co-workers & being turned down? (Trust me, it hasn’t always been like that in my life.) What about a girl I was dating who told me that being with me at the 10,000-plus “Conservative Political Action Conference” was like being with a celebrity because she thought I seemed to be the center of attention everywhere we went? Do you think I would remember any of that this far after the fact without seeing a reminder from my 2017 Jar of Awesome? No way.
Giving yourself a way to celebrate the big and small successes can only have a positive impact on your life and a “Jar of Awesome” can help you do that.