Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Someone once told me: "I enjoy sleeping". I was shocked since I was too busy doing music besides school, work and my social activities throughout the week! But then I had those days when I slept all I could. It was pleasant but with a taste of bitterness at the end. I wondered why I felt that way. I started reflecting on this and noticed a desire to be active in challenging ways. Only then I felt alive. But why go for a challenge if the sweetness is there?
I was looking for that sweetness of comfort without the bitterness. Anyone would like to have that. Soon I came to realize that bitterness is the opposite of the same sweet pole. Now let’s be totally honest. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I want in my life? What am I looking for? What is my heart beating for?
The answers came to me like thunderbolts.
“I want to shine and do whatever I love. I am seeking beautiful connections to absorb what this big world has to offer. My heart is beating to be better than what I was yesterday. My heart is beating for a life larger than what I got from this world.”
A major aspect of comfort is safety. Being comfortable in your own shell is totally okay. It’s needed. But the burning question remains on how to deal with that bitterness at the end of the day. We feel stuck while the urge to fly high bursts out many times. To seek change is normal. Unfortunately, this urge for something new and fresh remains in the background.
So how do we break free from this cage?
Discomfort is the answer even though you might disagree, trust me, this is not to be intellectually decoded. This must be EXPERIENCED. I was shocked to see how discomfort, which I experienced a countless time, transformed itself into something our heart yearns for. Now, let me illustrate how discomfort transformed itself.
The first time I went to a friend's house is when I was 8 years old. I felt uncomfortable and awkward. I wasn’t sure how to interact with his parents nor did I know how to be myself. But the second time I went there, I noticed that I finally let the sense of discomfort go and I started enjoying myself. Soon I became obsessed with German cars, because that was his passion. I started reading so much about cars because of my friend. And this passion for cars brought me to my passion for READING.
Notice clearly what happens here. It might seem like a silly example, but this is exactly how bigger things transform themselves as well. Simple unpleasant events might turn into blessings, if we let go of the idea of being comfortable all the time.
From one unpleasant moment to the other and suddenly something pleasant arrived. I continued to fuel that pleasant vibe and soon created a new hobby. Just see with a clear vision and realize. THIS is exactly how life unfolds. If I would pay attention on discomfort, I would never see the proper blessing coming on my way.
Another clear example was when I had a sleepover at a friend. I did not have my own clothes and had to wear his. I was brought up in such extreme comfort that even wearing some other clothes seemed hard for me. I can even remember my friend's father saying to me: “You won't get AIDS or something.” Of course, he saw the unpleasant body language I had and my face was not the most excited face wearing my friend's underwear and clothes.
We tend to lean on one side of the coin. We want to experience pleasure the whole time, but ignore the fact that life is full of opposites. We need to cultivate the stability to be centered so we can experience both.
So, the question begs: How do we move within these two polarities?
Expand Your Awareness
To move between both, the unpleasant and pleasant sides of life, we need to see the bigger picture. We need to zoom out and see how every event in our life can become a potential to bring us some lessons or blessings. We are either too distracted or unaware, because the weight of comfort brings us down in a spiral of sweet lethargy. Yes, you read that right. That COMFORT ZONE is dangerous if you are overruled by it.
The first and foremost TOOL I used to rise above these two extremes was to KNOW for myself that I shall never judge any event based on the feeling of comfort or discomfort. Instead, I would decide how to transform my experiences with awareness. If discomfort can’t become an opportunity to learn, I will drop that.
A toxic job or relative might also create discomfort, but this one is not healthy at all. Some people go in extremes by saying that we should seek discomfort all the time, only then we can grow. Nature works in a different way. I want to learn from nature and be attuned to the rhythm of nature. It's pointless to experience discomfort till you get a burnout for example.
Rhythm of Nature
Nature creates, sustains and transforms. These 3 modes of nature are keeping everything in balance. This is what we should follow. I’d like to finish with 3 tips:
Be aware of Character - Competence - Consciousness. What do you know? What topics do you like to talk about? What skills do you possess? How are you as a person? What are the qualities of your character? What are you passionate about?
Seek adventure! Adventure is not for the weak. Be physically and mentally strong. Workout whenever you can and exercise that beautiful mind of yours.
Experience is your teacher. School taught us to read, to write and to do some mathematics, but outside the classroom walls there are valuable life lessons to learn. So, experience as much as you can!
Comfort or discomfort, take it all in, follow the rhythm of nature and EXPAND YOUR MIND.
Written by Satish Sewgobind