96. In Contrast

There are many things which are normal for me now that would have seemed completely foreign (and somewhat impossible) five years ago.

Around this time in late 2015, we were living in Melbourne. I’d had enough of my current job and was on the cusp of accepting a new job offer. It wasn’t a promotion, instead it was more of a sideways step.

On the Homefront, things were ok, we where living comfortably in the suburbs of Melbourne.

Everything was just about etching out a living in suburbia. I didn’t really have a direction or mission like I do know. I wasn’t enlightened, I had no real drive, my fitness was terrible, and I didn’t really give a shit about myself.

In contrast; I’m very much a different person now. I’m more myself then I used to be, if that makes sense.

I now have greater focus and determination. I’m more self-aware and look after my fitness much better than I ever have.

Where I am now is where I should have always been.

But life has a way of trapping us in the daily grind and making it comfortable to stay there.

When you live a ‘normal’ life, everything is smooth and easy, there’s no real pressure and no need to do more than necessary.

This comfort leads to all the usual outcomes:

Dad Bod’s

Decades of service to one company doing one job

A mass of mental and general health issues as we age

The eventual loss of our identify and purpose in life.

The delusion of mastery

And eventually, an early, boring death.

Seems horrible doesn’t it. Yet, millions (if not billions) choose this way of life and never look back.

In contrast, those that choose discomfort are generally:

Fitter and healthier

Stronger

Know their purpose and are self-aware

Are sane-ish!

Are lifelong learners

Live better lives, maybe not longer, but better.

I guess the greatest contrast for me is the shift from a comfort mindset to a growth mindset.

For a long time, a just wanted things to be easy, I hated the struggle. I wanted what other people had, without doing any of the work to get there. I wanted my cake, and boy, was I going to eat it!

And do you know where this got me?

Fucking nowhere.

It wasn’t until 2018 that everything started to change, and as soon as the shift to a growth mindset was complete, there was no looking back.

I still find myself slipping back under to comfort donna from time to time. I’m not without my struggles and vices. But these are temporary things.

I no longer completely avoid discomfort. And truthfully, I don’t chase it neither. I’m somewhere in the middle. There’s still work to be done in fully embracing the discomfort, which will come with time.

The final contrast I see is when I start to talk to people about such things as discomfort, embracing the struggle and being a lifelong learner.

I get that these concepts aren’t for everyone. But people are so afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, that its easier to treat me as the crazy one.

Which is cool, I’m happy to be the nutcase.

What’s more interesting is how I see those people and how I respond to what they are saying or doing.

In the past if someone would disagree with something I was saying, I’d go about trying to convince them that I’m right. I wouldn’t listen to a damn thing they had to say because they were wrong in my mind.

Now, however, I life to hear different perspectives and understand what other people are thinking. Not so I can find some sort of common ground, because there isn’t any; but because understanding perspective is important to growth.

Life is full of contrasts; day and night, summer and winter, right and wrong, good and bad, Ren and Stumpy; and many of these contrasts will outlive humanity.

We need contrast to show how far we have come and to highlight how different we are.

Without contrast none of us would be any different, so don’t be afraid to live your life in contrast.

‘til next time….. Cheers!

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