We live in a comfort obsessed world.
We are told by the corporate and media worlds to pursue comfort. Comfortability is part of our culture and something we have to aspire to.
“Comfortably well off”, “comfortably numb”, “home comforts” and so on are all terms that are part of the vernacular.
Advertising persuades us to consume unhealthy “comfort foods” purely for the taste. It tells us to buy large comfortable couches so not only can we binge on this junk food but we can do so while watching TV. All from the ‘comfort’ of your own home.
Society tells us we should find a stable job and have a stable mortgage with as least risk as possible.
We are taught to seek luxury whenever we can. Even the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of luxury contains the word comfort:
A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense.
In other words, the more luxurious it is, the more comfort you will receive from it.
Whether you’re seeking comfort in life or in the material sense it comes with a price. Living in comfort means life is easy. Being comfortable means you’re not growing.
If you’re not going through a challenge, struggle or at the very least feeling any discontent you are standing still. You need to stress yourself to grow yourself.
Discomfort has negative connotations. Pain, unhappiness, unsettled, irritated and so on. In reality discomfort should be considered a positive byproduct of a spirit that wants to evolve.
Discomfort is where growth happens. Research has shown that achieving the goal is not what makes us satisfied but instead the journey we go on.
A feeling of comfort should be temporary. Consider it as a period of rest before you embark on a new challenge. Achieving a state of comfort is not an end goal but a resting point before you grow yourself once more.
If you think you’re comfortable in life with it all figured out you’re in for a surprise.
Don’t get comfortable in a relationship
We are all individuals and if you’re not growing as much as your partner then they have every right to leave you.
If you’re comfortable in your view of the world you are not growing
The world is complex and nuanced and we are constantly learning new information about it and ourselves. If your world view is fixed then you do not have the mindset to embrace an changing future.
You have comfort in your job
The job market is in turmoil. Jobs are being automated and others are being shipped to countries where labor costs less than you. White collar jobs aren’t safe either. Technology is disrupting the entire services industry. If you’re not learning new skills then you are not adapting.
You are comfortably healthy
Even if your wight lifting program is a consistent five times a week you’re still not working on your cardio. Good health is complex and requires more than just one kind of discipline.
Mix it up and learn new things. Watch London Real where six time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates talks about when he first learned yoga and how he couldn’t hold the warrior pose for long before he fell over. Despite once being the most muscularly developed man in the world, a yoga pose was uncomfortable for him.
There’s an Edison quote that has stuck with me for years. I remember coming across it when I was working on the building sites and I memorised it back then. It’s about feeling restless and discontent (and discomfort) and it applies here.
“Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.”