Are you too comfortable to be happy?
Do 100 burpees. You’ll be tired as hell, but you’ll be satisfied.
Peter Thiel likes to ask the question:
> What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
It’s a good question and I one I explored more in this post.
But here’s my answer:
Most people are too comfortable to be happy.
Modern life is just really damn comfortable. But unfortunately, that shields you from many discomforts that the human body has grown to need.
Thing about the daily life of a caveman or tribe-person.
On any given day you would:
- Wake up to the sun – hoping not to be eaten
- Go out with the hunting crew.
- You’d endurance hunt down your food like a boss.
- You’d bring it back to the village to cheers
- You’d make the food together.
- You’d make fire (like a g**damn magician) and eat that amazing food – full of fat and protein.
- Jump in a cold stream to get the stench off you.
- Warm up by a fire as you talked with your tribe.
- You’d lie down on the rock solid ground and sleep like a baby cause you’re exhausted.
- Wake up and do it all over again.
Now it wasn’t perfect by any means. No modern medicine, no pre-made food, lots of cold, lot of heat, but every day you woke up and engaged with the earth, with your community and with your body.
And, if you didn’t – you died.
Now compare that with most people’s daily routine.
- Wake up in the dark to a red-alert sudden beeping noise.
- Grab a carb-heavy breakfast that spikes your blood sugar, makes you hungrier and seeds carb cravings for the rest of the day.
- Hate the zombies in front of you that are getting a frappa-dappa-cappa-chino that has more sugar than coffee.
- Sit in traffic for 30 minutes on your commute. Find 10 new enemies you’ll never meet. Promise to seek vengeance on them and their children for not knowing how to use a turn signal.
- Sit down at a desk you hate.
- Take a 30 minute rushed lunch break. Eat fast food.
- Maybe workout. Probably not.
- Come home.
- Watch TV
- Have trouble falling asleep due to too much sugar, caffeine, too much blue light and not enough actual real food.
You could go a whole day without engaging with people (outside of your 1 hour of inter-vehicle swearing)
So what are the problems here?
- You don’t work with your hands
- You don’t see the results of your work
- You don’t get to be stressed – in a good way
- You have to make up “exercise” and “find time” for it instead of getting it through your daily routine.
- You aren’t surrounded or having experiences with people you enjoy.
- You’re not exerting yourself in a way that creates endorphins.
But nobody mentions that – the world tells you to find the shortcut:
- Follow your passion.
- Do what you love.
- Do what seems fun
- Four hour work weeks
- Freedom freedom freedom
What if comfort doesn’t bring happiness? What if it’s actually getting in the way?
But what if what you need is hard stuff?
Not hard stuff for hard stuff’s sake, but hard stuff to force your body to re-engage with your body, the world and the people in it.
The hard stuff that forces you to get stronger.
Hard stuff that makes you faster.
Hard stuff that has purpose.
That makes you better.
That pays off.
Hard stuff that’s worth it.
You don’t want to be stuck doing hard stuff that makes you miserable. But hey, maybe that’s what you need.
What if you need to be challenged? What if you need a fight? (There’s a reason Fight Club is popular).
Maybe getting punched in the face is what it takes?
To get woken up.
To have a fight worth fighting.
To get yourself uncomfortable.
If you don’t know where to start, start with cold showers.
If you’re already doing that, try running until you puke.
Stop worrying about being happy. Start getting uncomfortable. Do something that matters.
You might find happy on the way.