I know that I have not put anything out in 3 weeks & the truth is- it took me 3 weeks to completely organize all of my thoughts in a comprehensible manner…I write this not to inspire a quest of mindless suffering, but with the simple aim of better preparing you for the times that life deals a shitty hand of cards. There are incredible benefits (mentally, physically & spiritually) to be had in discomfort, all it takes is a mindset shift.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is to avoid excessive comfort…
Craving perpetual relaxation, convenience & a sense of safety suffocates us with a warm embrace that provides only short term gratification. We sit safely in our human zoo, protected from many challenges we used to face. But the bars of the cage remind us of our limitations as domesticated creatures…We comfort ourselves with material possessions perhaps as a way to forget how the lack of adversity has also stripped our lives of meaning and purpose.
The photo of the 5 cheetah brothers in Masai Mara serves as sort of an allegory for the difficult choices & ‘less preferable’ tasks that we must handle during our days- a sort of antidote to procrastination, if you will…
It's crystal fuckin' clear that these cheetahs do not want to be in this tumultuous, crocodile infested river- but nevertheless there they are & not a single one of them has an ounce of self pity in them. Because the crossing has PURPOSE…
The choice is clear- they can stay on the other side of the river where it's safe where they may find it harder to feed themselves- as food is less abundant on the easy side of the river.
OR... they can do what they don't want to do- conversely also- that may kill them- but where the reward is far greater.
The choice was not made for a love of the game, but rather- it was made out of necessity.
It is unrealistic to hope for a stress free life.
There are going to be far more times that you gotta do shit that you do NOT want to do, than what you DO want to do. So it makes sense to willingly expose ourselves- through gradual implementation of- ‘less than ideal’ situations. Simply replace the routine of comfort and convenience with that which requires some physical and/or mental effort. Willingly implement a little adversity by finding tiny stimuli in your environment…This challenges the biological laws of accommodation & hijacks your current condition from ‘preservation-mode’ into ‘thrive-mode’ & better prepares us to handle any & all difficulties that life throws at us. Essentially all living organisms have mechanisms to detect and outmaneuver discomfort by way of adaptation and growth. There is an evolutionary NEED to be challenged within every single one of us. This ability (to adapt) is not unique to humans, but we are unique ONLY in having repressed it for the sake of maintaining that which is safe, convenient & comfortable.
Voluntarily facing stressors is the unfavorable path that rids us of the vulnerabilities associated with discomfort in the first place…It gets us to a place where we learn how to handle the struggles & discomforts necessary to execute our habits when we ‘don't feel like it.’
The superstition of progress in the modern world has been paved with more efficient, more convenient & more comfortable ways for us to go about our lives in the most lackadaisical manner possible… The default philosophy that seems to have followed in the 21st century is to ‘avoid pain and maximize pleasure.’ This has created an imbalanced society that is UNDER-challenged, OVER-fed & UNDER-nourished. The NIH literally invented a new word for this phenomena called ‘malnubesity.’ (malnutrititive obesity)
As a species we established certain methods to conserve energy & fulfill large caloric deficits as a means of survival.
Unfortunately modern life doesn’t require much in terms of survival these days…
These same mechanisms developed to survive & essentially evolve are now DEvolving us to our own detriment.
Less than 2% will take the stairs with the option of an escalator or elevator.
We spend 96% of our time indoors.
Over 73% of the population is obese or overweight.
Less than 20% of eating is driven by actual physiological hunger, rather than boredom, stress & pleasure. (or just cuz the clock said so)
We’re better than this. All it takes is effort, it’s easy to do the easy things. But, when you do the hard things- hard things get easier.
Always doing the easy things only makes hard things harder. It’s easy to quit the workout when shit gets hard, it’s easy to hit snooze & stay comfortable, it’s convenient to grab the instant Mac and cheese, its easy to hop on the escalator and stare at the instant-gram... Start to become aware that these choices are a reflection of the battles you’re losing inside your head.
As we sleep-walk down our perfectly paved road of perpetual comfort- we only sacrifice our ability to cope, learn & grow STRONGER from discomfort…Because, to fully benefit from the comforts and pleasures, we must also be intimately familiar with pain and discomfort…
Achieving the happiest, healthiest & fulfilling life inside the modern world happens by living with INTENTION.
Starting from the time you wake up- your eyes open- throw the blankets off and stand straight up. No need to check the time, don't you dare pull the blankets over your head and curl up for another 9 minutes.. Lean into this discomfort to start your day and watch as your daily struggles become more effortless. This is what it looks like to win the battles inside of your head, this is what is necessary to hijack your consciousness and let your mind know that you are in control.
In time- through the desensitization of minor discomforts- you prove to yourself that you're capable of more…there is a certain primal feeling associated with making the hard choice- it feels good to take a cold shower- you feel alive-it didn't kill you & you got stronger by winning the internal battle in your head as a result. Your comfort zone just got a little bigger.
This is what it feels like to find your untapped potential.
It is beyond the levels of comfort and familiarity we have within all of us power, ease & strength that we never dreamed ourselves to own. This is because we never push through the pressure.
It is only when we explore the edges of our comfort zone- that we can DECREASE suffering by INCREASING our capabilities to suffer. Getting yourself to that level of discomfort is necessary to expand the ever narrowing bubble of comfort. I believe that there is a common misconception that comfort and luxury equals happiness. I argue that happiness is simply a lack of suffering. & so in order to attain more happiness & health- seek more discomfort & watch as your strength to suffer paradoxically brings you more happiness.
As one grows weak(er)- one is less able to endure suffering.
There is less hurt, because there is less to hurt.
I do not have a problem with comfort…
I have a problem with ALWAYS leaning into comfort & the negative effects that come as a result. I have a problem with allowing the subconscious to run rampant on the path of least resistance accumulating shit heaps of doubts, fears & excuses.
It is only the undisciplined mind that leads to suffering.
It is only our self-pity that is robbing us blind of our own potential.
Self-Pity is the ball and chain weighing us down in the center of the comfort zone. This is not a call to go and get all David Goggins (though he is an excellent example of what our true potential is) -rather this is a call to live with INTENT, embrace appropriate struggles, don't run from them…
for god sakes- fuck the escalator, take the stairs.
Be the 2%<
Stay healthy in this comfortable world…