How to be comfortable with discomfort.
Want to succeed as a soldier, a business owner, a CEO, an investor? Nothing is more critical than becoming resilient to discomfort.
“The key to success and meeting your goals requires effort, focus and discomfort”
I have found that entrepreneurs, business unit manager, and young soldiers, quake in fear when they hear this. Or they secretly hope that they are smart enough that these rules apply to everyone else, not them.
The thought of discomfort drives people into an endless search for shortcuts. They are desperate for hacks to achieve easy success without hard work. A massive industry of phony entrepreneurial self-help capitalizes on their fervent hope that such hacks truly exist.
A true leader, soldier, or sportsmen only become successful when they realize the only “secret” they are missing is the courage to act. They realize that execution is everything. That business, leadership, or military life discomfort itself can serve as a compass, pointing to the true north of genuine value creation.
To get comfortable with being uncomfortable is as simple as realizing: Discomfort is where the value lies, something I have been very comfortable with, I have learned to follow it and it has proven that I am headed in the right direction.
The modern world is terrified of pain
Our mainstream culture will do anything to avoid pain and suffering. We have pills to make all manner of discomfort go away.
Our culture is confused about the point of life. We are obsessed with hedonic pleasure, with freedom and escape from the suffering of work: Lifestyle design. Living for the weekends. We optimize for indolence and set goals of passive consumption.
Most people won’t even try.
Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable is easy when you realize that people obsessed with avoiding all pain are miserable. They missed the point.
Solider and business leaders especially, becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable gets easier when you realize that the competition vanishes when things get tough. That there is no traffic on the extra mile.
Playing it safe, optimizing for hedonism, avoiding work, doing the minimum required to have the freedom to binge-watch Netflix… these are all the games of people who are chronically asleep-at-the-wheel.
You will get comfortable with discomfort when you realize that pushing hard – leaning into the discomfort for the purposes of creative entrepreneurship, leadership, and genuine value creation – is where you feel the most genuinely alive.