I watched this 5 minutes YouTube video which was extracted from a Podcast by Joe Rogan on the fear of discomfort. Rogan is a phenomenal human being with multiple success stories and his podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience‘ is the number 1 podcast in the world. It wasn’t clear from which episode this clip was extracted but he was mainly talking about the fear of discomfort.
He starts his little speech about physical exercise and how people can really be averse to physical exercise because of the high level of difficulty they associate with starting. As he makes it abundantly clear, once you get into the habit the whole thing becomes easier and later on an integral part of your entire life that boosts your energy and emotional state.
He speaks to the illogical counterintuitiveness of leaning into discomfort as the only way towards accomplishment. Success and hard work are directly proportional and it doesn’t require much intelligence to recognize this fact but it’s the primitive instinctive programming of our evolutionary brain that has us at a disadvantage. Our minds are constantly pushing us towards the conservation of our energy and to avert danger. On the other hand, the most advanced part of your mind can recognize the merits of reasoned actions. Like that you succeed in building a house by physically laying bricks one on top of the other until you’re finished. The harder you work at something the more results that are bound to come your way and the farther away you move from doing the actual necessary work the more you fall victim to entropy and disintegration.
“Discomfort is your friend”
Discomfort is truly the number one motivator towards change. You can only change your house, your occupation, your life partner, your health, your education, and whatever gnaws at you from the inside simply because of that incessant discomfort that drives you towards finding a way out.
Rogan talks about the momentum that happens with consistency in exercise and it resonates with what everyone has been saying regarding the building of habits as the only way to exponential growth and compounding interest. The thing is that it doesn’t only apply to physical fitness and strength, it also applies to how you approach life in general.
It’s rather easy to come to this realization once you’ve examined the facts. Strength is a habit your nurture with physical labor. Intelligence is a habit you feed with consistent learning. Courage is a habit you develop by taking the initiative every time you have the choice of doing something or not doing it. Creativity is a habit you carve into your brain by using it to reshape your world in word, color, or sound, solve your problems, figure out workarounds, and alternative solutions to overcome obstacles. Confidence is a habit you build by acquiring a body of knowledge, tested problem-solving skills, learned competencies, battle-tested courageous choices, and being comfortable with discomfort.
Joe puts it in contrast to the detrimental effects of blowing things off. Like exercise, blowing off standing up for yourself or someone you care about, or blowing off someone’s call for help, blowing off challenging tasks and difficult situations are negative habits you build by doing them consistently. These bad choices in life, if maintained, lead to a sorrowful existence and are regrettably just the surest ways to irrelevance, stagnation, decay, loneliness, anger, addiction, and mediocrity in all aspects of life.
Giving up is a habit, blowing off challenges is a habit, shying away from hard work is a habit, taking shortcuts is a habit, lying to yourself is a habit, those and every single bad thing you do consistently becomes a habit and a part of your personality and this is how things keep moving south, from bad to worse.
The silver lining of that cloud is in knowing that giving up is not an option to anyone really because even when you stay the same without making any changes or attempting any positive change, entropy and natural decay will eventually pull you down further.
There’s no such thing really as hitting rock bottom. Rock bottom is a truthless myth. Things can, always and ever, get unfathomably worse than your wildest imagination could ever reach. You think you have it bad now? Keep going and making the same sort of bad decisions and maintain the same sordid bad habits and trust me you will feel the pain. And if by some means of misfortune you do think you’ve currently hit that mysterious rock-bottom, after careful consideration you will soon find the abyss is yet steeper, darker, deeper, and stretching far into infinity.
Developing those positive habits is not a picnic, you don’t get to reverse decades of habits overnight; it just doesn’t happen. But you only make tiny consistent changes until you find your rhythm and hit your stride. Once you take that one to the bank, you figure out your next thing, and soon enough your positive change snowballs into a habit in and of itself.
The keystone here is never to give up on yourself. No matter how many times you fall off the proverbial wagon you chase that damn thing and get back on it. There isn’t much else to do and there isn’t much else to be.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, get back up on that horse, and start moving again.
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