"Enticed by comfort. Most of us are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be." - Jocko Willink, Discipline Equals Freedom
Why does comfort seem to undercut us while we try to progress?
Jocko has nailed one of the biggest challenges we face in life and the general trajectory that many of us take. Struggle early on forms the basis of our daily lives. We are working towards something. University, a career, family goals, personal goals. As wins begin to add up we find ourselves motivated and continuing to grow. With those wins though we start to see comfort build. We make a bit more money than we did a few years ago and now we have savings, a cushion. We can afford to be more liberal with our time because we've made a name for ourselves and grinding doesn't seem necessary.
That chipping away. That reflection on the grind that doesn't seem as worthwhile anymore. The name of the game always seems to be; save up enough money so you don't have to grind. Build income streams so you never have to work a minute of your life. It's as though we are built to work towards comfort without even realizing it.
Comfort seems to erode something inside though. When we recognize that we aren't really working as hard as we could be. We may like our outward appearance of success but deep down we know that we are slipping.
What can we do?
1) Take stock of where you were 5, 10, 15 years ago. What did life look like and what were you ultimately striving towards? In many cases, we simply haven't extended the goalposts. We are chasing something we've already achieved. Many books will re-iterate that the human being tends to thrive on progress or the sense of progress. If you've met your 10-year goal last year then it's time to build a new one.
2) 10X whatever it is you are working on. Grant Cardone's favourite rule of thumb and absolutely one that has progress built-in. By creating goals that seem outrageous we set the unconscious mind on a path to extend itself far beyond what we might have achieved if the goal was 1X.
3) Make a list of those comforts. Sometimes an honest assessment of what we feel is being chipped away is enough for us to reclaim our strength. Not pushing yourself in the gym anymore? Why do you think that is? Sometimes the act of writing this down and answering these types of questions will uncover motivations that perhaps need to be changed. I was doing it for outward appearances in my 20s may now become to maintain and grow stronger in my 30s and 40s.
Building on my ideas from the last post. Let me know in the comments if you like it or send me a message on Instagram.