Savor What You Dread and Avoid

Our preconceived judgments can decide our experience—if we let them
February 8, 2021 Updated: February 8, 2021

Today my sons and I were standing at the edge of the pool, on a cold day, knowing that the water we were about to jump into was freezing.

It was Day 27 of my first 40-day discomfort challenge and we were dreading the cold water.

We knew it would be shockingly cold, because we’ve jumped into it for the past 26 days. We really didn’t want to do it, but we’re committed to this.

And then I invited myself to a mindset shift: Can I bring curiosity to this moment?

This moment I have already judged as bad, could I instead let go of my fixed ideas and just bring curiosity?

What is this moment like, when I’ve dropped my judgments, fixed views, preconceived notions?

It becomes much more open. Much more filled with possibility.

From this place of possibility, I wondered if there was something to savor right now. Is there anything I can enjoy, appreciate, find sacred and beautiful?

I found a lot to savor: the chilly air, the intensely blue sky and low-lying soft clouds, the quiet neighborhood with planes flying overhead, and birds calling out to us. I savored this moment of challenge with my sons, this day of being fully alive and able to do meaningful work with others, this day of having loved ones here and scattered elsewhere whom I care deeply about.

I found a lot to savor, and suddenly this become a moment of freedom and love. I jumped in.

Leo Babauta is the author of six books, the writer of Zen Habits, a blog with over 2 million subscribers, and the creator of several online programs to help you master your habits. Visit