What I’m learning from studying the Spartans

Studying the Spartans has been somewhat life altering. I have been putting myself through trials and challenging situations. I did not realize I could be this disciplined, and endure so much discomfort.

It appears that most of us underestimate ourselves, so much so that we assume we cannot achieve various goals. We place limitations on our lives. This is the opposite of what the Spartans did.

A few of my friends have been inspired, and now they are learning about the Spartans and how they lived, and trying to incorporate some of this knowledge as well. They are also finding that they are capable of more than they knew.

I know I can never reach Spartan levels of self discipline. However, there are a few lessons I am going to take away from studying them. These lessons can be applied to modern times and various professions, with some modifications, of course.

  1. You aren't born ready. But once you are ready, you need to keep it that way.

The Spartans lived and breathed their profession. From an early age, they were trained to be soldiers. This training was continuous and nonstop, throughout their lives. For them, battle was just another battle, within the greater battle of daily life.

In modern times, we are taught to train for things for specific limited periods of time. We are encouraged to dabble in many various professions and goals at the same time. The Spartans have taught me that it is best to train every day, as a way of life, and that hyper focusing on one profession, and living and breathing it, is key.

2. We can't go it alone.

As an introverted person, I prefer to be alone, workout alone, and live my life with plenty of distance. However, the Spartan way of life involved solidarity and teamwork. Aiming for challenges and goals with friends has been more rewarding than I thought possible.

3. Being uncomfortable really does lead you to greater achievement

Pain can lead to growth. Purposely throwing yourself into various states of discomfort does make you stronger. One of the challenges I undertook was to wake up at 4;30AM for 7 days in a row, and immediately immerse myself in icy water. I did this because I knew I would hate it- that it would be beyond difficult for me.

The first day was hell, I cried a lot and was miserable all morning. I looked around and realized getting up so early wasn't foreign to a lot of people, and I felt lame and somewhat damaged.

Day two was just as bad. I struggled through my alarm, woke up at 6, got in the shower and had to fight myself to stay still. By day three, I noticed something. The water didn't feel as cold, and I wasn't as exhausted.

My body continued to adjust. The rest of the week went by a lot easier, and by the end of the week, I no longer felt challenged.

I also found, overall, that I was more focused on my daily tasks, and my discomfort threshold in general was heightened.

In terms of applying this to gaming, I am still coming up with ideas. But this is delayed somewhat, as I am hectically busy lately.