It’s been a long time since I ranted at y’all! I suppose it’s because financial independence has resulted in a kinder, gentler and better adjusted version of myself.
Who am I kidding? I still have plenty of vitriol! Brace yourselves!
Observation #1: I was out shoveling snow a couple weeks ago when a neighbor stopped by. He must have felt bad for me because he said I could use his snowblower.
Observation #2: At least 1/4 of my neighbors start their cars minutes before they leave to warm them up. I’ve even seen some of them doing this in the summer to cool off their car with air conditioning.
Observation #3: My daughter has a schoolmate that lives almost across the street from the school. Her parents drive her to school:
These observations make me sad. If I used a snowblower, I’d be depriving my body of a workout. I’d also have another mechanical contrivance to maintain. My neighbors waste fuel and risk having their cars stolen just because they won’t tolerate sitting in a cold (or hot) car for a couple of minutes. The parents that drive their child 500 feet to school are missing out on great walking and bonding time.
When I see my fellow humans striving for temporary comfort, I worry too. When I extrapolate this behavior, I always arrive at the same place; the movie Wall-E. In the film, humans have trashed the earth, so they have moved to a spaceship. Everyone has generous proportions because they ride around on a flying chair with a screen in front of them:
When I see people who can’t be bothered with even a minor inconvenience, I wonder if they would choose to ride around in a chair all day too?
The Incredible Power Of Discomfort
My life is wonderful and I owe much of it to discomfort:
- Doing well in classes like organic chemistry, cell biology and calculus wasn’t easy, but I got into a top PharmD program as a result.
- When I decided that I’d hate being a pharmacist, I dropped out and studied software development. That wasn’t easy either, but I got a great job as a result.
- Software development is no walk in the park. However, it paid well and I enjoyed the intellectual challenge.
- Flipping houses wasn’t comfortable, especially with kids in the picture.
- Effective workouts are painful. Running multiple miles or lifting heavy weights isn’t fun. But now, my blood pressure is lower and my knees no longer hurt.
If my goal was comfort, I would have done none of the above. Comfort isn’t rewarding, but hard work is:
- I felt awesome when I received all As in the most failed class on campus (Organic Chemistry 331).
- I was on top of the world when I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biology and Chemistry.
- Getting code to finally work right is incredibly fulfilling.
- I feel great after a workout. I feel even better when I’ve done it outside when the temperatures are in the teens:
Short-Term Discomfort Equals Long-Term Success
Why dismiss the easy path?
I don’t have time to walk!
This way is more convenient!
Who has done anything special sitting on a couch? Great things happen only outside of your comfort zone.
And if you’re still not convinced, let me put it another way; there are two comforts that you should absolutely try to achieve. These are both long-term and you should never stop pursuing them:
- Financial security
Short-term comforts and convenience (driving everywhere, excessive leisure, fast food, dismissing all manual labor) are often contrary to these long-term goals.
Comfort is easy, but it isn’t natural:
- Comfort is driving up to the top of the mountain instead of hiking it.
- Comfort is eating crappy, processed food because it tastes good instead of vegetables.
- Comfort is 6 hours of TV per day.
- Comfort is paying someone to mow your lawn, wash your car and clean your home.
- Comfort is less than 4,000 steps a day.
Comfort leads to a big gut, heart disease and an unsatisfying life.
Maximal comfort equals minimal living.
Greece Chautauqua: Almost Sold Out!
The FI Chautauqua takes place for only 2 weeks this year and I’m incredibly honored to be a part of it. As of this morning, week 2 is now sold out and week 1 only has a couple of spots left. If you’re at all interested in going, get your ticket now or consider joining the wait list for the 2019 edition.
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.