You wish you had more in life.
More success. More money. More happiness.
But, like Tantalus of the ancient Greek myths, what you desire seems to be just beyond your reach.
It’s frustrating, annoying, and demoralizing.
Sometimes you just want to throw up your hands in disgust and give up.
Don’t quit yet.
I’m going to tell you the secret to having everything you want in life.
And it’s so simple that you can do every day from the comfort of your home?
Learning to Be Uncomfortable
The main reason you don’t enjoy the success you desire is that to have more you need to get out of your comfort zone.
And that’s uncomfortable. (Uh… no shit Chuck!)
The truth is, people hate feeling uncomfortable. And that is what prevents them from having more in life.
At the risk of sounding like an asshole stating the obvious, it is very important that you understand this point.
We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. – Max De Pree
If you are committed to getting more out of life, start today by building one simple habit.
Every day, for the next 30 days, take a frigidly cold shower for 30 seconds.
Nothing to it.
You’re not going to do it.
And you will continue to bemoan the fact that you don’t have everything that you want out of life.
If It’s Simple to Do, It’s Simple Not to Do
What does taking a cold shower have to do with having more success?
Think about it. A cold shower is simple to do. You’re in the bathroom by yourself, no one is there to check on you. You can even tell people that you do this every morning and nobody will know whether you did it or not.
But, you’ll know.
You will know if you were willing to put yourself through the discomfort of a frigid cold shower for half a minute.
And so begins the process of getting comfortable with discomfort.
If you do this one simple exercise, you will notice a small change in your outlook. When other people are sitting around complaining about one minor annoyance after another, you’ll be thinking to yourself, “that’s not so bad…”
After a while, you will notice your willingness to try new things.
You’ll start standing a little taller.
You’ll be more open to challenges and difficulties.
After a month, you will notice that things that annoyed you in the past won’t even register anymore.
But I’m Uncomfortable in My Life Already…
“Wait, Chuck, my life is already full of discomfort…”
- sitting in traffic every day
- going to a job that I don’t like
- dealing with people who I can’t stand
- paying bills to companies who overcharge me
- leaving me exhausted and disconnected from my family
I get it, as the Buddha said, “life is pain…”
But there are two kinds of discomfort.
There’s the kind that is thrust upon you.
It sticks itself in your face like the gun of a mugger. You have to deal with it. You don’t like it but you have to do something about it.
Then there’s the other kind of discomfort. It’s voluntary.
It’s the one that you have a choice.
Where other people avoid it, you embrace and move into it.
While other people are…
- sitting on the sofa, you’re going to the gym
- complaining about cutbacks and layoffs, you’re learning new job skills
- saying their partner doesn’t love them anymore, you’re learning how to be a more loving partner
And that makes all the difference in the world.
The Path of Least Resistance
Electricity, like people, takes the path of least resistance. In the U.S., it’s now mandatory to have a green grounding wire for all electrical outlets. It gives the electricity an easier path to go through other than a human body. That little wire saves people’s lives from death or injury from electrocution.
That’s a good example for the path of least resistance.
On the other hand, with people, it’s the opposite.
Following the path of least resistance begins a path down a slippery slope.
Today, you do what is easier. Tomorrow, you do what is even easier. And on, and on, and on…
Soon, your resilience, grit, and temerity have all but disappeared.
You do not have the willpower to do what is needed to have more success, money, or happiness.
And you suffer, dreaming of a better life that is always just a little beyond your reach.
Lessons from the Mat
Are you going to do it?
Are you going to step up and take the challenge? Or, are you going to sit back and be comfortable?
One reason why this site has a martial arts focus is that, in my experience, I know no other people, other than martial artists, who were more focused on living a life of voluntary discomfort.
Nobody forced them,
- to dish out their hard-earned money every month to get beat up on
- to face their fears every week sparring, getting thrown around, or choked out
- to risk bruises, muscle aches, or even injury and still go to work the next day
Martial artist deal with this discomfort every day. For years.
For no other reason than they want to fulfill a personal need to grow, learn, and to live a life of personal development.
Put It on the Mat
I’m not asking you to join a martial arts studio, though it would be great if you did.
What I am asking you is that if you desire to have more in life, do one simple thing every day that makes you uncomfortable.
Take a cold shower for 30 seconds every day.
I promise you, it will change you.
Who knows, after a month, you might up the ante by going for a full minute or 5 minutes.
Could you imagine?
If you are willing to be uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, for a full 5 minutes straight, what else would you be willing to do?
What other people would be shying away from, you would be running toward.
What stops other people in their tracks, you would look forward to with enthusiasm, excitement, and exhilaration. You would feel alive while other people would be cowering in fear.
It all starts today with one 30 second shower.
Also, can you do me a favor?
If you feel this article would help someone you know, I would really appreciate if you shared it with them.