Trade Discomfort for Joy: find this path
For some reason, I’ve always been an optimist.
I’m not entirely sure why, but I wonder if some portion of it comes from one of my earliest memories. I was bawling because I’d fallen down the stairs and my dad asked me something along the lines of, “why are you crying?” Somewhere in this question and lesson was the idea that my reaction to cry wasn’t necessary for recovery and that I could stop if I wanted as I did that day. Tears in my eyes I realized(learned), “crying isn’t useful for making me feel better anymore, I might as well just stop.”
That has extrapolated into nearly every situation in my life. Each year it becomes exponentially more useful.
This optimism leads me to seek out repeated moments of discomfort. I look at the moments of discomfort and try to begin a path towards trading this discomfort for joy. An imperfect, but a useful example is cold showers. There is discomfort in nearly every cold shower at first but there is incredible joy after. Apparently, according to Dr. Rhoda Patrick, your brain looks more like a child’s brain after. I’ve gotten to the point where there is almost no discomfort before or during. Just joy at even the thought of getting in.
Obviously I am using my Attention Investment Cycle(AIC) each time discomfort arrives and I’m wondering the great James Altucher question: “Is this useful?"
I think there might be a path that leads to trading nearly all discomforts for joy. At the very least I’m very confident that those things in our lives that give us the most consistent discomfort are the easiest to predict. This predictability leads us to the greatest likely hood that we can prepare ourselves so that rather than finding discomfort the next time they arrive we might be able to find more and more and more joy.
So I urge everyone to search for the path that leads them toward trading their predictable discomfort for predictable joy. At the very least, it seems like the tastier better option on the menu.