Seek Discomfort

Many people have told me that the quote “Seek Discomfort“, doesn’t make any sense. Why would you want to do that?

It all started with Yes Theory. A group of friends who push themselves out of their comfort zones in order to grow and experience life.

I was inspired by their stories and adventures. From giving free hugs at the airport to helicopter bungee with Will Smith.

I wanted that kind of excitement in my life, and that meant doing the things I didn’t want to do…right? That’s what discomfort means?

Wrong.

A line from Yes Man summarizes it beautifully, “…Then you’re saying yes not because you have to, not because a covenant tells you to, but because you know in your heart that you want to.”

Seeking Discomfort means doing things you want to do but are too afraid to do.

The feeling you get right after you’ve crossed that discomfort-barrier – it’s the most exhilarating feeling.

Remember that time you saw the slip-and-slide at the waterpark and you were so excited to go on it, but when you got the top you realised it’s too high and you’re afraid to go down, and after a few minutes, or an hour, you finally muster up the courage to go down, and as soon as you get to the bottom you just want to do it over and over again?

That’s why I ‘Seek Discomfort‘. For that feeling at the very end. Knowing it will be worth it.

“If you do not change, you can become extinct.” – Who Moved My Cheese?

I book I highly recommend is Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson.

‘Keep moving’. ‘Run the maze’. ‘Seek Discomfort’.

The point is not to get too comfortable. Life might become boring, ordinary, repetitive. You might start to question the ‘meaning of life‘.

“I now often ask myself, “Is this really a problem I need to think my way out of? Or is it possible I just need to fix my biochemistry?” I’ve wasted a lot of time journaling on “problems” when I just needed to eat breakfast sooner, do 10 push-ups, or get an extra hour of sleep. Sometimes, you think you have to figure out your life’s purpose, but you really just need some macadamia nuts and a cold shower.” – Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Seeking Discomfort can lead to opportunity.

Say yes to the next adventure. Smile at someone. Ask them how are they doing. Take a cold shower. Tomorrow, instead of going right, go left. You don’t necessarily need to go shark cage diving or climb Mount Everest in your shorts to – SEEK DISCOMFORT.

It’s NOT saying YOLO (You Only Live Once)

It’s saying yes to things you want to, but are too afraid to.
It’s saying yes to something that’s bigger than you and your fears.

Seeking Discomfort has helped me – grow, meet new people, see beautiful places and have the most wonderful experiences with amazing people, receive many opportunities.

When I say opportunities, I don’t necessarily mean landing a job at an S&P 500 company. I mean to make new friends, work with wonderful brands, experience breathtaking sunsets. An opportunity to compliment someone and make their day.

I now challenge YOU to SEEK DISCOMFORT in your life.

Photo by @earthlingsua
Tattoo done by @eyeam.lilo

167 thoughts on “Seek Discomfort

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  1. Love this, Hannes! Also, I would regularly read, “Who Moved My Cheese?” during my life in administration. I think seeking discomfort, and discovering it when I wasn’t seeking it ;-), helped me grow the most–spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Although I’ve only hiked one 14’er, it was accomplishing that ONE, after my physical setbacks (and living in discomfort “generally”) that pushes me to experience the elation that comes from living outside my comfort zone. Keep up the great work, friend!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It seems like you had a love/hate relationship with discomfort. I hope you’ve come to a point where you’re embracing the discomfort as it has been a big factor in your growth throughout your life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post and message! Philosophically speaking, the art of living is about being content (ready to die without regrets), but never satisfied (ready to stop searching for challenges and adaption).
    Because, once you are perfectly, 100% satisfied, you cease to exist. Only being dead is being truly perfect.

    “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
    It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

    So it’s only logical to seek exhilarating experiences. It’s in your own logical reasoning that keeps you existing in the first place. Without a will to survive, your body couldn’t have that “extra-bonus-need” of spiritual and intellectual challenges, which lets you hunt meaningful events.
    You’re so right about avoiding “YOLO” to overcome the unpleasant. Me, personally, I’d like to add:

    Do this thing, because your body already does the heavy work of keeping you alive.

    Your brain is part of your body.
    Just tell your brain that it has work to do, lift some sh*t by making the decision to go down that water-slide, it may be useful to know that you can survive it, plus you’ll feel great after accomplishing that, and you know that this would happen.

    Why not trust in your brain and it’s saved wisdom within?
    Why not let your brain work like all the other organs too?

    As Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

    So seeking dicomfort is basically about surviving, if you feel good about it or not.

    Philo. Greetings,
    Ventusator

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t agree more about Seeking Discomfort. I still remember my first parachute jump (a proper one, not a buddy jump) – something I had wanted to do since I was a kid. I was in my forties when I finally took the course and jumped. In my seventies, it still gives me courage to try other things. It was marvellous.

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  4. I agree. Sometimes we just need that bit of gut and bravery to take something less done by others, to choose roads that are less travelled. We can seek the many beauty in life by seeking “discomfort”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Certainly, life needs some spice. I have had such times in the past. At this age in my life, I am excited to start something new. Thank you for this very interesting article.

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  6. I like your mantra, “seek discomfort”. It makes sense. It’s about growth. If you aren’t at least a little uncomfortable you probably aren’t learning or growing.

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      1. “It’s saying yes to things you want to, but are too afraid to.
        It’s saying yes to something that’s bigger than you and your fears.”

        That hits home!💖

        Liked by 1 person

  7. What an awesome post and what you are saying is correct. “Seeking Discomfort” is a key to growth and progress in life. And the more that we are able to work through discomforts and overcome them as a habit, the stronger we will become. Thank you so much for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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