In my constant search for improving myself, I got familiar with the cookie jar concept that as far as I know, was created by David Goggins.
In case you are asking who is David Goggins, he is (among other things) a Navy SEAL and former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, and triathlete — Today he is considered to be one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world…
Here is what he says about the cookie jar:
What do you say to yourself when life is kicking your ass? When you keep failing at the things you truly want? This question was asked to me.
Once again this isn’t for everybody.
I thank God for testing me again.
I go back to what I call the cookie jar.
The cookie jar is a place in my mind where I put all things bad and good that shaped me.
Some people try to forget the bad in their life.
I use my bad for strength when needed, great lessons learned.
In that cookie jar, I pull out whatever I need for the task at hand.
To summarize the above, the cookie jar is a place where you put all your great achievements and all your epic failures.
Then, whenever you face a challenge, you come back to the cookie jar (the jar of learned lessons if you will), and pick the relevant lesson!
I personally think it’s a wonderful idea!
As I continued to ponder about it, I thought “wait a minute, why not have an actual cookie jar where you write in small notes with great achievements and epic failures — and put them in the jar??”
That way, whenever you need some encouragement, a good reminder of how awesome you are, or mistakes you should avoid repeating — you just open the jar, take a note, and enjoy a good moment!
Unlike a real cookie, this you can actually put back in the jar and enjoy it once again in the future!
This idea came to me because of our tendency as human beings to forget how awesome we are and yes, our tendency to become arrogant after a series of achievements…
So what do you think about actively keeping track of your achievements and failures in a cookie jar, and leverage them for future challenges, reminders, and warning?