The Pursuit of Discomfort
Comfort, satisfaction, ease, routine, and predictability seem to be things that so many people work towards. I myself have pursued some of these qualities in the past, but to what end? In pursuing these qualities of life that seem to be so highly regarded, we're forgetting that the process to achieve them is the dead opposite.
Placing yourself in deliberate situations of discomfort is what drives the most growth as a human being. A lot of people want to sit behind a desk and do nothing. In trying to get there, they practice doing nothing in a position that doesn't tolerate it, and they find themselves never getting ahead. Surprised? I'm not. You have to earn it.
Consider weight training
Or exercise of any kind. Although I personally find the activity enjoyable, the thought of taking time out of my day, preparing meals, supplements, waking up early, which could easily qualify as a category all on its own, specifically timing all of these factors to get the most out of my nutrition and exercise, and packing work/ gym clothes is a depressing task indeed. It's uncomfortable. But holy crap, it's good for you! Not only do you decrease your overall chance of death by common factors such as heart disease, but you also get more energy throughout the day, require less sleep (in my personal experience that is, I don't know if this is true in general), and consequentially you're more mindful of what you eat and drink if you spend an hour every morning actively trying to change yourself for the better.
If you're a novice, you're probably going to have to get over some ego-centric thoughts that will creep into your mind if you've never worked out in a gym before. Will people think I'm weak/ ugly/ dumb? Will my lack of experience be obvious? Is this discomfort worth the effort?
In order, the answers are no/ no/ no, maybe, and absolutely yes. I wonder what else makes us uncomfortable that's good for us? Tell us about it in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We'd love to hear from our readers.
Taking on challenges where we have no idea what we're doing.
One way to advance is to take risks that have the potential to make you look like an incompetent fool. Perhaps a project at work is entirely outside your realm of expertise, and you need to learn a new discipline in order to be successful. The final product shouldn't show that you're an amateur, and similarly your peers will assume you knew how to do it all along. It's important to have at least surface level knowledge of disciplines that are constantly working around you, and eventually situations will arise where you may have to step into their shoes for something important. Be ready when the time comes by challenging yourself to explore fundamentals outside of your trade. Comfort is never learning new things. So put yourself out there.
Cold showers suck. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. They are the most focused form of deliberate and voluntary misery and discomfort one can subject themselves to. Having got that out of the way, I take cold showers, and you should too. Cold showers have had a noted effect on increasing immune system function, in addition to benefits such as improved hormone function, and has even been used as an alternative treatment for depression. Hugh Jackman would routinely take cold showers before going on set to play Wolverine, because it helped him get into character (being pissed off as all hell most of the time). If you've ever taken one when your body is aching for the comfort of a warm shower, you'll know what he was talking about. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, a cold shower will do you more good than just about any stimulant that can be obtained legally.
So what does all this have to do with finance?
Well, simply enough, we ponder to ourselves what makes people comfortable makes people poor and lazy. Comfort is a vicious circle that devours innovation and inspiration and shits out couch potatoes. Comfort is the enemy until you've "made it." (Financial Independence, anyone?) All the things associated with comfort are luxuries luxuries under a disarming guise. Nicer car, better house, new clothes, hot showers, fancy gyms, fine wines, watching TV. All these and more are utterly unnecessary for the financial independence minded individual.
You can be lazy and comfortable when you retire. Until then, get to work.