Most people want to be happy and comfortable in what they are doing. We want to have things figured out at work and in life. But as I have been thinking more about this question I really feel I’m at my best when I’m the most uncomfortable.
As I look back my life and try to remember if I was happy and if that related to be comfortable I can’t find that correlation. I believe I’m at my most unhappy when I’m the most comfortable. I believe we want life to be easy, we want the same routine day in and day out to make life easier. If I do “x” daily I will not have to make a decision and life will be easier. I’m realizing that I’m at my best when things are the hardest.
When I was first starting my career after college I was so motivated to being great in my field. I was addicted to being an expert in my field, I was consumed by pushing myself daily to learn, grow and to move up in the ranks of web design and development. I did work for the money but that was just a part of it. I worked to grow, learn and be the best. It was so uncomfortable to be the new person, the junior designer, the new developer, the new Dad, and the new Husband. I was at my best was I was scared out of my mind and that created the best version of myself.
As I grew in my career I started doing well and slowly started to be happy and content with myself and thought I had life and my career figured out. I started to get lazy. I didn’t read that extra book, I didn’t take that extra tutorial online. I had it all and was comfortable.
Looking back at the pictures of my body I saw a trend of when I was comfortable I was letting myself go and started to get fat and unhealthy. I remember back in that time thinking it’s only one workout and it will not make a difference if I miss it because I was in a good place and wanted to have another beer or go eat more food to celebrate my success. One day turned into two and my comfort turned into me going from an athletic 190lb. person into a 265lb. fat piece of shit. I was so damn comfortable I lost my motivate to grow myself and take care of my body. I was comfortable and accepted the piece of shit that I saw in the mirror. Was I happy? At the time I thought I was but looking back I’m realizing I was a lazy piece of shit who did nothing to challenge myself. I was comfortable because I thought this was the life I was supposed to live.
I worked to provide myself and my family a good life. Things where so good. We had a nice house, nice toys for the kids and could afford to go out to dinner and keep up with the people around us. It was gross, I was a gross slob who I hate seeing in pictures today.
As I look back 10+ years ago I have been searching what what was my break through that changed me? The thing that I keep coming back to is when I started riding and “racing” motorcycles. I was uncomfortable and got addicted on how I could be better, faster and ride longer. I got a fire back in my gut and knew I had to change to be able to be happy. I needed to get back to the version of myself that had to be the best and that’s when I remembered how much I enjoyed doing hard things. I enjoyed being the underdog that had to fight and work harder than everyone else just be average. This was how I was successful in baseball. I was never the most talented but I always could push harder and outwork everyone if I was committed to it. Damn I enjoyed the process of being told I was not bug enough, strong enough or good enough. I loved being told I could not do something because I was not good. It lit a fire so deep in me that I became obsessed of proving everyone wrong. My thought was “Fuck you, watch me” that’s it, game on. I’m proving you wrong.
This story will be continued in the future but the lesson that I’m learning is that for me to be at my best I need to be uncomfortable and motivated not to be average. When I’m comfortable I really suck as a human.
I need to keep pushing and fighting in all that I do and I want to do something daily that scares me. It’s 95 degrees outside so why should I go ride my bike? Because it’s uncomfortable and that makes me happy. When things are scary but your still do them and finish them it feels so damn good. When you see your friends take an off day because of weather and you get your work in that feeling is amazing.
It’s too hot, its too windy, it’s cold, it’s not ideal… those are the moments that make you better than everyone else. If you can stop that voice in your head from saying no then you win. You grow, you get better and you are the best version of yourself. This is true for working out, working harder to learn a skill or even dieting. You conquer your inner voice that talks you out of something comfortable then you are making yourself better.
This post is just a rant and not intended to tell any story but it’s been on my mind for a few months so I wanted to write it down before I forgot this feeling. 🙂