Comfort Obsession

May 15th, 2020

By: Darrell Schulz, COO/Principal

Why are we so obsessed with comfort these days? If you don’t believe me, think about your last couple of decisions. I started feeling warm in my home (uncomfortable), so I turned on the air conditioner (comfortable). I began to feel hungry (uncomfortable), so I grabbed a snack (comfortable). Then I started to feel thirsty (uncomfortable), so I drank a glass of water (comfortable). My days are inundated with decisions, and I will almost always make the choice that provides me the most comfort.

I think we are hardwired to almost subconsciously choose things that make us comfortable. The problem with this hardwiring is that we rarely get to experience the “joy” of being uncomfortable. Yes, I did say the “joy” of being uncomfortable. Not the kind of joy you experience when riding a rollercoaster, if you like that sort of thing. I am talking about the joy that you experience after you were uncomfortable. For example: In August 2017 I completed the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Running Race. To say I felt uncomfortable during the 27 hours it took me to complete the race would be a severe understatement. But believe me, the joy of accomplishment when I finished eventually made me forget how difficult the race actually was, and all I now remember is the joy that followed.

Many of us, myself included, tend to focus on what brings us immediate pleasure rather than long term happiness. Currently in this state of quarantine, I wonder how many of us started with lofty goals, such as: I am going to finish that book. I am going to get into shape. I am going to spend more intentional time with my family. How are all of those goals coming along? I know for me some goals have fallen by the wayside, because I have chosen convenience over achievement.

One of my favorite people to read and listen to is David Goggins. I would encourage you to read his book “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds” or listen to any of his podcasts. One of his best quotes is, “You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft, that you will die without ever realizing your true potential.” If David Goggins’ quotes don’t get you pumped up to live your life, I don’t know what will.

What if you purposefully put yourself in an uncomfortable position? Not for the sake of being uncomfortable, but for the sake of seeing what you will learn by going through it. Like training muscles in the body with exercise, it is impossible to grow as a person without stressors. Not long ago, our world wasn’t filled with so many comforts, and people’s daily lives were filled with hardships. They got to experience the sense of accomplishment just by living. Although our world is going through difficult times right now with COVID‐19 and we will be stronger on the other side of this, I believe we need to seek out calculated troubles to feel a true, deeper joy of life.

As real estate agents, one of the most uncomfortable things you have to do is cold call or knock on doors. I don’t know if I have ever met a person that truly enjoys this part of our business, but the amount of life‐long friendships that have come out of this process is countless. Almost every time a deal closes in our office, I will ask the agent how they met their client. Almost always they met from a cold call, knocking on doors or introducing themselves at a social event. The joy of having a life‐long friend and client required a risk of being uncomfortable.

In life most things are not handed to you, and if they are, they aren’t as meaningful. So, I would challenge anyone reading this article to go out and make yourself uncomfortable on purpose and enjoy the deeper joy that comes after. Don’t be so obsessed with comfort, stop making excuses and go experience the joy of being your best self.