”Man finds the level of despair he can tolerate… and calls it happiness.”
Question 1: Why does my coffee keep getting cold?
There’s a reason hot coffee gets cold quickly. Even if it’s in some fancy Yeti mug, it will eventually empty of its energy all by itself. The heat always finds a way out. Scientists call it entropy or the second law of thermodynamics. Pema Chödren talks about it when she says things fall apart.
This law—which is as real as gravity— pairs well with the tendency we all have as humans to struggle following through with difficult things. Stephen Pressfield calls this part of the equation The Resistance. Seth Godin describes it as our lizard brain at work.
Combine these two forces—things falling apart with our resistance to doing hard things—and you get what poet Pádraig Ó Tuama calls the whirlwind of being human. The currents of life pulling us places we don’t want to go.
The net effect of all of it is what I call the drift.
The drift is as real as a heart attack. We just don’t feel it all-at-once. It takes us places we don’t want to go, and we don’t need to do anything to get there.
Even when we crave living life to the full, we’re constantly tempted to squander it, passively allowing the drift to take us places we ultimately don't want to go.
But, what exactly are we squandering our lives on? What is this glorious thing we’re willing to accept in exchange for pursuing our dreams?
The driver of the drift is comfort, plain and simple.
Big lives never come comfortably. Yet, most men and women in our culture seem to desire the results without the discomfort required to get them.
It makes sense.
Comfort at the core of our economy. It's working, too! Can you think of a product or service that doesn’t trade on ease, pleasure, convenience, speed, or relief?
Comfort is a fundamental promise of modern marketing.
Question 2: Why am I so bad at golf?
Let’s pretend my dream is to be the best golfer I could possibly be. Assume I’ve digested everything there is to read, watch, or witness about how to be great at golf. From articles to YouTube to getting tips from Tiger himself, if I consume all there is about the sport—but fail to swing a club—how likely am I to be any good?
We all know the answer. Theory can't get you what only comes from practice. It's not enough. Until we put in the reps, there’s no chance at greatness.
Now, assuming the drift is real, known, and universally experienced (which it is) and that my aim was to become an excellent golfer which can only happen when I'm willing to put in the reps-- however difficult--wouldn't it make sense for me to volunteer to practice golf?
But that almost never happens. Volunteering to get uncomfortable, even in the face of significant dissatisfaction, is not what humans are famous for.
Consider the following:
- Ever get out of the shower, look in the mirror, and feel discouraged or regretful about what you see? What do you do next?
- Do you have a bad habit that you dream was no longer a part of your life? What are you actively doing about it?
- Do you ever find yourself reflecting back to a season in your life when you used to be more disciplined but now can’t summon the energy to get those disciplines back? What's in the way?
If there is anything in these examples that feel a little too close to home, let me explain one possible reason why: Comfort may be killing you... slowly. More specifically, perhaps you prefer to avoid the discomfort of pursuing a daily disciplines in favor of the passive comfort that comes from not doing the thing your future self wishes you would.
Your coffee won't get hotter on its own. That’s just not how it works.
Ever wonder why so many people are unhappy with their life? Could it be that comfort is disqualifying them from the life they really want? Is what you're settling for as good as it gets?
Question 3: When I do commit, why do I fail to follow through?
“Wait” you exclaim. “I do commit to things! I just don’t follow through all the time.”
I understand. You likely do have a history of great intentions. You get inspired. You might even be inspired right now. But, you're skeptical.
The challenge here isn’t that you don’t want the hard thing. You've committed to doing hard things in the past. But, they didn't stick.
Here's the thing: Commitment is necessary, but it's not the whole story. It fails to account for the complexity we live in as humans. It's not enough to deal with the whirlwind of being human.
Well, I have good news. At Men & Women Of Discomfort, we’ve discovered additional stages that account for this complexity, which is why it works so consistently. We call these stages CREDO. Each letter in the word represents a part of the process of transformation. It's our operating system.
You can learn about CREDO, at least theoretically, at our website. But, like my golf game, the only real way to benefit the framework is to take a swing yourself. You don’t need to be perfect at each stage to progress. But, there is something you will need...
If you're serious about wanting to experience radical change in the areas of fat loss, muscle gain, clean eating, the reinvention of relationships, the adoption of positive habits, and the release of those elusive negative ones, there is a catch... it's going to require your whole heart.
Our world is full of empty promises of comfortable shortcuts and convenient hacks that lead to lowering our expectations of what’s possible in this life. At MWOD, we go in the opposite direction. Ours is a path to living life wholeheartedly; to becoming the most true version of yourself. And, it’s a path that’s available to you right now.
Our tagline at MWOD is “It’s probably not for you.” Given that it involves voluntary discomfort, you now know why. The sad truth, though, is most people are sleepwalking through life, unaware of the drift or where it's taking them. But, that's not you. Not anymore.