I’ve written extensively about Jesse Itzler’s Misogi Challenge and how I’ve woven it into my life over the past few years. For those unfamiliar, here’s a quick overview of Itzler’s Misogi Challenge…
Every year, do one thing that is so challenging that you’ll remember it for the next 364 days. It needs to scare you, push your limits with a 50/50 chance of success, and be for you alone, not anyone else. Put it on your calendar – then go do it. When you’re done, your Misogi will create a memory that defines your year and lasts for decades.
Since being introduced to Jesse’s Misogi, I’ve made it an integral part of who I am and how I show up in life. I can now reflect on the last three years and proudly name each year’s challenge. The challenges I’ve completed have been year-defining, and the memories I’ve created have been lasting. There’s not one I will forget any time soon.
As I began this new year and thought about my 2023 Misogi, the concept got me thinking. If there can be one thing that defines an entire year, isn’t it possible that I could do one thing each month that defines those thirty days? I started asking myself if there was room for a Mini Misogi in my life… The answer was a resounding “Yes!”
That’s the journey I’m on now. I am still planning my year-defining Misogi Challenge, but even as I do that, I will fill my months with Mini Misogi challenges. Having experienced the power of facing one big challenge each year, I am excited to face twelve mini-challenges over the next months. I don’t know what each one will look like, but I am excited to find out.
January’s challenge is complete. I planned a winter camping trip with a good friend who traveled to Nepal with me. Unfortunately, life had other plans, and he is now months into a cancer battle. With that in mind, I built a quinzee (snow shelter) in my backyard, the kind we had planned to sleep inside on our trip, and I spent the night in it. It was not only my way to honor him and his courage but also allowed me to battle my own demon.
I love winter camping, and making quinzees has always been part of that. The process is simple. You make a giant pile of snow and let it sit for a few hours. Then, once it settles a bit, you begin digging it out. The beginning is easy, and then there’s a moment where you dig deeper inside a cramped, dark space with snow crystals falling down your neck. It’s hard work, but eventually, you have hollowed out enough space for 2-3 people to sleep comfortably.
I’ve started building this quinzee in my backyard three times over the last five years. I would pile up the snow, looking forward to finishing it and sleeping inside. Then, when it was time to dig it out and prep it for sleeping, I would get lazy and not complete the mission. I’d be left with a pile of snow that took until June to melt, taunting me in the process and reminding me that I hadn’t finished what I had started. Finally, as winter ended and spring came, I’d face the regret of not finishing. I know. It sounds dumb, but not finishing that quinzee gnawed at me.
This year, I will end the winter with no regrets. I’ve completed my mission with the quinzee and Mini Misogi number one is in the books with eleven more to go. It’s time to start planning for February, which leads me to this…
What is your Mini Misogi going to be? If you’ve read this far, I want to challenge you. What will you do next month that makes you a little uncomfortable, requires you to dig deeper than normal, and will define your month?
There’s massive value in putting yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable. Discomfort, if you let it, will lead you to the things that define who you are and who you’re becoming. You need to make room for it. Now, go do your own Mini Misogi.
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