When in doubt, you’ll almost always have two options: the comfortable choice and the uncomfortable choice.
Our brains are biased toward keeping us safe (read: comfortable), so your brain will naturally point you in the direction of the comfortable.
Uncomfortable is where you learn stuff.
You’re not soaking up knowledge during the first minute of a run or the first five minutes of writing or during that whole weekend of sleeping in and watching TV. You’re learning at the limits, hours into a challenging task or weeks into a project you’re not sure will succeed.
Uncomfortable means pushing your own limits about what entrepreneurship, community, fun, and learning can look like and feel like. How do we cross the divide between the online and offline worlds? How do we navigate a group of strangers who we would like to have as friends, despite the distances between us?
Uncomfortable means letting the obvious reveal itself to you without drama. Until you meet that person or hear that speech or read that book or figure that one thing out, you can’t know what to do. But now you know. What will you do about it?
Will you pursue the safe path, or will you go exploring?
I hope you’ll choose the uncomfortable.
Obviously, no one wants to be uncomfortable. No one enjoys the states of cold, hungry, washed in waves of self doubt, tired, sweating, or overwhelmed, but that’s when the good shit surfaces.
It’s horrible to be out of ideas or broke. It’s terrifying to take a wrecking ball to your business or to take the whole enterprise down to the studs. It’s inherently unsafe to start over.
It’s like CrossFit for your soul to get out there and do your work in the world. There are easier options everywhere.
But if you’re reading, it’s your job to do the deeper work that’s almost always uncomfortable. We all have versions of phoning it in that could make us a decent paycheck or keep us outfitted and fed for the coming year.
We’re called to go deeper. (That’s what she said.)
You could go off and read the first chapter of every book in the library instead of hanging out with those three books in the Restricted Section that will change the entirety of your existence.
Most people don’t enter the Restricted Section. They don’t follow the callings of their heart, or their brain or mind or psyche or even their sexual organs (unless they’re drunk on a Friday night).
Most people avoid uncertainty, risk, and the profound sense of taking on uncomfortable as a lifestyle.
But I dare you to be a different sort.
Like what you like.
Pursue what interests you.
And befriend uncomfortable. It looks good on you.
P.S. To explore this topic in a book’s worth of depth, pick up a copy of Calling to the Deep.