Everyone wants to be comfortable. It is a normal human reaction to avoid discomfort, because externally generated pain is a sign of damage, a warning and self-protection system older than any language. But self chosen pain? That is actually the path of progress, and the ability to consciously choose it is what gives us the ability to create a better future.
Lifting weights hurts, and then we get stronger.
Running to the point of wanting to puke makes us faster and gives us endurance to be able to go farther and faster in the future.
Doing hard math problems increases our capabilities and enables us to send people to the Moon, something our ancestors could barely dream of.
Facing emotionally charged situations, actively deciding to engage in painful discussions allows us to build relationships that reach into our souls and last lifetimes. Even if we mess them up, we can decide to enter a painful dialogue and do the penance to repair fractured trust.
Comfort kills, because it makes us weak on all levels. Strength comes from doing the difficult things. The more often we push the envelope of our comfort zone, the further it expands and the greater the tasks of all types we can accomplish. But too many people actively avoid confronting others and themselves and never grow emotionally, mentally, or physically.
To improve, you must confront these fears. You must put yourself in the uncomfortable situation. You must visit the House of Pain.
The House of Pain is where limits are pushed, where discomfort is in the air and strain is the norm. Where you are stressed on purpose for the purpose of self-betterment.
To become consistently better, to grow as a human in all ways, you must visit the House of Pain daily.
Sometimes you just sit on the porch for a few minutes to kibitz and grab something quick or drop something off. You don’t cross the threshold but you are there, you can feel your heart beating harder and start sweating a little, mildly uncomfortable but not in the House and as such the pressure and pushing is not in full effect but reminds you of the progress you’ve made.
Several times a week though you need to go inside if you desire anything better than where you are now. It is only by actually entering the House of Pain of your own volition does your spirit say “I want more” and engage in the effort to improve. Your heart races, your breath shortens, your muscles ache and your mind is stretched when you go all the way in, sit at the table and have a drink and a long talk with yourself. Because when you are pushed hard, the voices in your head and heart talk to you and you must enter into deep discussion with them to gain insight into who you really are in adversity. This builds a better you for good times, when not under the stresses of a hard workout or study session or emotionally intense exchange. Pushing yourself when you don’t have to allows you to really push when you need to.
To become epic, to approach your potential, you must go deep into the House of Pain and descend into the dungeon and do the serious work. Where you push to the red line and stay there at max effort for extended periods. Where you come not just face to face with your demons but actually engage them, wrestle them to the ground through a heroic struggle, and overcome them, taking their strength and making it your own. It is in the dungeon where fear is faced and destroyed. Where your real power is unlocked and that “potential” becomes actual, where your spirit is hammered on the anvil of your own particular hellfire and purified into something stronger than steel or diamond through your efforts and decision to descend into this place of self-torture and forgiveness.
If you willingly enter this misery, you emerge different. It prepares you for when you will inevitably have chaos and agony thrust upon you by the inevitable that is our Universe. All will have to face dark times, not all will be ready to fight it with unyielding spirit and deep inner reserves from the depths of the dungeon like you and I.
While others are avoiding or numbing their little aches and avoiding any form of uncomfortableness, you actively seek the suffering not out of masochism nor as penance but as a means to become more. A Herculean labor of self betterment in the mind and soul and of the muscles and emotions by actively seeking the challenges in the House of Pain where legends are written as opposed to the quietly killing convenience of ease and soft seductions.
Come into my house. Join me.