The Purpose of Discomfort

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“But… I like pleasure… and pain? That hurts! That doesn’t make any sense!”
Of course it does.

Consider the pleasure of comfort.
Now, consider your goals.

Whether the goal is giving up sweets, working out 5 times a week, getting certified for scuba diving, 21 days of no television, completing a marathon, saving up money for Christmas presents, sleeping 8 hours a night, or being a good mother, father, sibling, or spouse, comfort will try to get in the way.

You’ve created these goals because you believe they will improve the quality of your life. Sweets? Those are comfort foods. Working out is uncomfortable. Scuba diving can be scary. No television? That means no Netflix and chill. You want the new iPhone, but can you still afford the gift for your mother? Going to bed earlier requires discipline. Being a decent person? That requires what everything else requires. Sacrifice.

But you’re giving up something you enjoy for the fulfillment of something more important. Sacrifice is uncomfortable in the moment, but sacrifice the sweets and you’ll enjoy a healthier body. Get off the couch and into the gym and you may be fighting off chronic disease. Face the fear of holding your breath and you can experience a new world underwater. Turn the TV off and enjoy the company of a friend or the serenity of a peaceful solitary mind. Take one challenging step at a time and you’ll eventually get to 26.2 miles. Hold off on the new gadgets to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces. Power down earlier so you can wake up refreshed. Live to provide happiness to others and find that you’ve also given yourself happiness.

Pain and discomfort aren’t to be feared.
Pleasure and comfort aren’t to be our aim.
But for all, we are to be thankful.

- Coach Chad Kackert

Chad Kackert