What is Hormesis and How Does it Help My Hustle?

Do you find it painful to take risks? Do you lean toward playing it safe in order to avoid failure, loss, or the unknown?

Hustle, a book by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Jonas Koffler that has just been released contends that we can best position ourselves to overcome fear of risk by a process called hormesis.

Hormesis is repeated exposures to small doses of stressors and risk which don't weaken but, surprisingly, strengthen our biological systems.

Hormesis strengthens our ability to hustle, and therefore deliver, as described in this Why You Need a Daily Dose of Pain.

The authors encourage you to order the book to fully study the hormesis/hustle relationship.

Until you have access to the book, though, they have shared this excerpt which provides ten real-life examples you could start today in order to build up your immunity to the pain of risk.

Before you choose to get started on your pain (does that sound odd to you?!), a few comments from the authors:

You must make sure to build incrementally so that you can get back on your horse and not get trampled underneath. That is why we suggest a "daily dose of pain."

Look in the mirror and think to yourself, What is the smallest thing I could do today to reap a long-term hormetic benefit? All it has to be is (a) small, (b) slightly annoying or odd, and (c) gainful or promising in some way.

Ten real-life examples you could start today include:

  1. If you're out of shape, try to do 10 pushups or 5 minutes of yoga every day this week.
  2. Know that coworker you cannot stand, the super-annoying loud-talker who won't leave your cubicle and constantly disrupts your work with her boring stories about her husband or her kids? Find something truly virtuous about her and compliment her sincerely.
  3. Do you always order the same sandwich at your favorite café? Ask the waiter to surprise you with a dealer's choice. The waiter chooses an entrée without informing you, and you promise yourself you will eat it and even try to taste a few specific ingredients, no matter what he chooses. (This is exactly how author Patrick Vlaskovits learned that he loves Brussels sprouts.)
  4. Find a different route home from work for a week straight.
  5. Hold a conversation with a few friends and never mention "me" or "I" or "my."
  6. Go to a movie on a Friday night by yourself.
  7. When you find yourself listening to a friend trying to convince you of the merits of one of their ideas, resist the urge to cross your arms. (It's harder than you might think.)
  8. Learn one new word every day. And use it at least 10 times that day.
  9. Instead of heading straight into work, wake up an hour early an go for a walk.
  10. Take a walk around your neighborhood and look for three new things you haven't ever noticed before.

Something, no matter how small a pain, is always better than nothing. The point isn't to punish or deny ourselves but to gently prod ourselves to grow a teeny, tiny bit every day, so that one day we'll be ready to save a prince or princess ourselves.

Aside from the hormetic benefits of small doses of pain, there is another major unseen benefit.

So tell us, are you feeling lucky, punk?

The publishers of Hustle have provided a copy of the book to be given away to one of our readers! To be eligible, please comment below with your thoughts about how hormesis might play a role in increasing your capacity to hustle. The giveaway closes at 5 pm ET on Friday, September 26. If you are a winner who resides outside of the US, you will be provided an electronic version of the book rather than a hard copy.

Editor's Note: very minor edits were made to the excerpt to fit editorial needs of this abridged excerpt.

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