John Mayer wrote one of the most impactful tweets I’ve ever read on December 31st, 2014. It caused such a stirring inside of me, that over two years and probably a million tweets later, I could recount to you the date I read it. His tweet said:
Replace the word 2015 with life, and the word year with life again and I’ve found myself the perfect mantra: Life is about ambition, and ambition takes focus, and focus takes discipline, and discipline means discomfort. Have an uncomfortable life.
That tweet changed my mindset. For those who only want peace and tranquility out of life – being comfortable is fine, but for those who need more – comfortable won’t be enough.
Let’s face it – what do you really gain from being comfortable? You don’t gain any new friends. You won’t get out of a job you hate and into one you love. You will not allow yourself the chance to grow and flourish in any area because you are just too darn comfortable to put yourself out there in any way. Asking and receiving feedback isn’t easy and falls outside of the comfort lines. Starting a new activity you may grow to love will tumble to the waste side, because that first step certainly won’t be a comfortable one. And don’t even get me started on the amount of conversations that deserve to be had but land far outside the safe zone.
Being uncomfortable is how you should strive to spend everyday. It’s how I focus on spending mine. Maybe not every moment of every day, but enough time to fulfill the famous quote, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.”
As cliché as this saying is, the truth behind its importance is undeniable. It’s not about jumping out of a plane but about recognizing the importance of doing what makes you uncomfortable. And doing it often.
Whenever I come across something that makes me uncomfortable, I know the end result is inevitable – I will have to do it. I combat the desire to stay inside my comfort zone by writing what I need to do down in my day planner to make it more real. For me, when I write things down I suddenly hold myself accountable. I combat that desire by surrounding myself with people who encourage me to be a better person and see me in a greater light than I see myself. These people push me towards decisions that disrupt my comfortable little bubble and I appreciate them for it.
And lastly, I combat the wish to stay within what’s comfortable by recognizing just that: that it’s uncomfortable. And that’s all it is. A simple word, feeling, or moment that will eventually pass. The best things in life can come from allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
So thanks for the tweet John – I threw in a like for good measure.
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