The soft caress of the clouds
Make my steps ever weightless
I gaze upon the earthly ground
And know that none can ever take this
I lose my balance and plummet
Soaked beads whipping my face
I find my feet at a summit
Seeming to come away unscathed
But under the rain and the hail
I feel pelts that leave bruises
I should be scared, but I fail
To take cover, the truth is
With my head lifted up
And my face numb with hurt
I cannot seem to get enough
But alas, I must return
As I lay once more on the cloud
Its caress nurtures my welting
I survey the lovely ground
And roll off for a fresh helping


Pleasure only comes from pain.

Remaining in comfort, no matter what way it manifests itself, will eventually lose its luster. Each experience will need to be topped with another more extravagant to surpass your rising standard of happiness. Only when you learn to strip away the comfort, and allow your mind and body to contend with hardship, will you appreciate relief when you come by it.

You are not challenging yourself if it doesn’t result in being uncomfortable. A challenge being difficult for most other people does not mean it is a personal challenge. Conversely, one that is easy for most people can certainly be a personal challenge for some. Someone might be amazing at solving extremely complex problems, ones that most others cannot even comprehend, but effectively communicating it may leave them speechless. Someone may have a burning desire to find ways to overcome obstacles, but may dread the actual grind required to implement the solution. On the surface, a challenge may seem to be met, but the personal challenge is still being avoided.

When you get into a rhythm, it is natural to want to stick to situations that fit that rhythm. This is not to say that you should deliberately break it and lose your efficiency and expertise. But if the decisions you make are solely driven by the desire to inactively remain in a comfort zone, you are stymieing your ability to have new learning experiences. Especially when working in an environment with others, if you are taking strides to avoid the toil that others are going through, you won’t be in a position to fully understand their situation. There is always a benefit in actively putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, however uncomfortable they may be.

Aside from actual work, this pattern can also be applied to lifestyle. Dependency on luxury weakens you. If you are unable to function without the luxuries you’ve become accustomed to, you’ve crippled yourself. In a sense, you have locked yourself to a formality that you are unable to operate without. Worse, you’ve extinguished your ability to empathize with those who have no chance of experiencing that same luxury. The solution to this problem is always within reach. Whether it is small challenges throughout your day or sweeping changes to how you live your life, each choice is a substantial victory that continually makes you stronger.

Perpetual comfortability leaves you numb. When comfort has no discomfort or challenge to be compared to, its effect is diminished, if not eliminated altogether. You will be happier when you have something of worth to look forward to. The taste is sweeter when you’re hungry, the reward is greater when you’re challenged, the comfort is more appreciated when you’re in pain.


Situational Questions

  • How far do you go to push yourself to the limit? I don’t mean constantly and without any rest, but when the opportunity arises, do you push yourself to the point of exhaustion of mind and body? Or do you do just enough so it is noticed?
  • Are you afraid to exit the bubble you’ve become comfortable in? Is there a specific set of dramatic problems that repeat within that bubble? Do these consume the majority of your attention? If you were able to step outside and see what others are dealing with, would your problems gain more perspective?


One Comment

  1. Normalcy was my favorite chapter until I came to this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Your situation questions are a great way to seq-way into a reflection of the material, and helps the reader understand how it can apply to their life.

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