Wednesday, August 6, 2014

You're Too Comfortable

"It's the same in coaching we do the basics and fundamentals over and over then when it becomes second nature for them we throw a wrinkle in and it disrupts their rhythm in turn makes them focus and challenges them. I'm sure the same would happen in vocabulary you have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable if that makes since, a challenge always makes you better"  
The above quote came from a fellow student in the online class I'm taking this summer. For now, I'm not going to comment on the run-on sentences and the huge misspelling that screamed at me when I first read it (other than to say that such errors were typical in the comments made by these graduate-level students who all teach in American secondary schools, which depressed me).
No, I want to focus instead today on the flash of brilliance that this PE teacher shared here: You have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Not original, but brilliant.
I think I should make this my life motto. It seems to be the answer to so many problems.
If you want to have a healthy body, you have to become comfortable with that gnawing feeling you get in your gut when you want to eat but you know your body doesn't need food. 
If you want a strong body, you have to become comfortable with the little aches and pains and the feeling of exhaustion that come with a good workout.
If you want to learn how to play golf, you have to become comfortable with the awkwardness of swinging the club wildly for a few weeks while your limbs figure out how to make it work.
If you want to speak a new language, you have to become comfortable with sounding like an idiot until the syntax becomes more natural to you.
If you want new friends, you have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable situation of approaching prospect and starting up a conversation.
If you want a healthy marriage, you have to become comfortable with the possible awkwardness of bringing up difficult issues that need to be dealt with.
In his book Addiction and Grace, Gerald May says that one of the keys to dealing with addiction is learning to live with the empty hole in your soul that your object of addiction is filling. Get comfortable with the gap. Don't stuff it with something else that just becomes another addiction.
You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
We're a spoiled race, we Americans. Young or old, rich or poor, white or black or brown, we don't deal well with discomfort, even in the short-term. We smother it with food . . . drown it in beer . . . cover it up with a new dress and adorable pumps . . . distract from it with Candy Crush and Youtube. Sometimes, you just need to sit there and appreciate the feeling. It's the feeling of growth.
During the several months of transition during our move last year, in the midst all the little problems that continually cropped up (and the big problems, too), I found myself saying over and over, "This is not a tragedy; this is just an inconvenience." 
Discomfort is not a tragedy; it's just an inconvenience. And one that, sometimes, we need to welcome. Life begins at the end of our comfort zones.
That's not original, either. But it's brilliant.

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