We need to feel temporary discomfort to get anything worthwhile done.
Trouble is, society teaches us to meticulously avoid pain. The “right to pursue happiness” that we champion is often translated as the right to a discomfort-free existence.
I will never do anything of value while remaining perfectly comfortable.
Learning to play a new piece.
Writing a book.
Building and maintaining a relationship.
Shoveling the driveway.
Raising strong and resilient children.
In 2016, we have powerful new ways to ease discomfort. 8 hours on Netflix, Social media scrolling. Even the political outrage we feel daily is secretly an escape from the discomfort of living our own life.
I have to remind myself daily that this squirmy feeling is a sign that I’m doing good work. When I feel the strongest urge to go play the latest addicting iOS game is when I know I’m proving my value to the world; and then, I face down that urge as often as I can.
If I give in to the many forces urging me to make myself more comfortable, I will lose the chance to make a difference.