Comfortable Growth. Does It Exist?
We all want to grow, progress and achieve more, either in the physical or literal meaning of the word 💪 or metaphorically.
There is no one path to growth.
There are multiple ways to progress.
Achievement can take on a thousand forms.
But can this be achieved without ever being uncomfortable? Without doing things outside of our creature comforts, our familiar habits or our cozy nests of routine life?
Great question, I'm glad you asked.
The answer isn't a clear yes or no because some people already have habits in place they are comfortable with that will see them progress in one way or another. We are all good and getting better at the things we are already good at but the things we most need progress in that we aren't comfortable working on usually takes a back seat. This makes our strong links stronger and our weak links weaker.
If we continue with the habits we currently have, rate of progress, which may be no progress at all, will likely remain the same unless the habits creating that progress change, adapt or adjust to better suit your goals.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
My almost 10 year stint of helping people achieve their physical goals has highlighted one thing over and over again and that is;
If a person is not willing to embrace challenges head on, to work outside of their comfort zone and to accept the sacrifices that come with growth, progress and achievement, none of those 3 things will be achieved in any significant fashion.
Here is an elegantly worded excerpt from a podcast titled 'relocating' where 'The Minimalists' discuss living a life of value and growth without the clutter of capitalism and 'stuff' that helps me project my message of the necessity of discomfort;
"There are three things I hate.
Large crowds, public speaking and extensive travel and yet I find myself on tour once again.
In fact this years ‘less is now tour’ is our 8th tour in our 7 years since Ryan and I started ‘the minimalists.com’. From Seattle to Santiago, Pittsburgh to Portland, Vermont to Vancouver, we’re travelling to 40 cities this year to talk about living a meaningful if with less. there comes a time whenever were on the road that I begin to ask myself;
‘Why in the world am I doing this again?
Which, I should probably ask myself before embarking on another multi month trip around North America. But the initial excitement of planning coupled with the perceived glamour of exploration always seems to erase the question at least for awhile. At some point tho often while parked at a rest stop surrounded by a sea of mid western corn field that question interrupts my whining excitement and I begin to wonder what I’ve gotten myself into.
That's the self-doubt that creeps in. Another crowd this evening. Two more hours of talking tonight. 300 miles until our next city. Yikes.
It's not that I actually hate people, speaking or travel, rather these things make me uncomfortable so my answer to my internal ‘why am I doing this dialogue’ is simple.
I go on tour not only to share our message of simple and intentional living but also to embrace my own discomfort. In the modern western world, once our basic needs are met we have the means to cocoon ourself in perpetual conform, surrounded by air con, technology and consumer goods. We ease into a daily life that is rich in luxurious niceties but lacks the vigour required for sustained growth. And without growth our lives lack meaning, purpose and passion.
It's no wonder most people feel discontented today. We are vessels of anxiety, stress and debt camouflage by consumerism.
So despite my desire to stay home and bubble wrap my life i hit the road, interact with other human beings and face the terror of public speaking in every city we visit. Each night we meet people from various walks of life from factory workers to executives. High school drop outs to colleges professors. Monks to hoarders. Literally… we’ve had monks and hoarders at the same event. Weather they are young or old, rich or poor, black or white, they all ask he same fundamental questions;
‘How do I live a meaningful life?
What must I do to regain control?
Who is the person I want to become?
Sure these questions manifest differently depending on the individual but one thing that has been made clear to me over the past 7 years is that we are all different yet we are all the same. We all struggle, we all fail, and we all desire to be the best version of ourselves…..warts and all."
So I ask you, are you willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations in the name of growth, progress and achievement?
Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?
What things do you need to do that you're not comfortable with in the name of progress, achievement and growth?
Diet Smart. Not Hard.