Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”
– Grant Cardone
Listen to the audio version here:
Most people are pretty damn comfortable in their lives – even though their life might be average or even mediocre.
They’ll say they’re unhappy, they’ll complain about their problems, they’ll tell you they want more from life; but they do nothing to actually start making that happen. They take no action. They’re comfortable with where their life is currently. Their words might be saying they’re not happy, but their actions are indicating they are perfectly content living this perfectly-average life; otherwise they’d do something to change it.
My friend calls this state of “I say I’m unhappy but yet I don’t do anything to change”: comfortably uncomfortable.
They’re uncomfortable about the fact they know they could have a better life, but yet they’re comfortable with the status quo. They’re uncomfortable with all the celebrities, entrepreneurs, influencers and other people around them who are winning. They’re uncomfortable seeing people who look better than them and have a better body than them. They’re uncomfortable seeing people who love what they do for work and are living a life that’s true to themselves. They’re uncomfortable with an average or mediocre sex life, or they’re uncomfortable with being single while everyone else seems to be living amazing, fulfilling relationships built on intimacy, connection, love, joy. They’re definitely very uncomfortable.
And yet…. They’re also quite comfortable where they are – they’re almost stuck where they are. Their bills are paid, they have some friends, a job, things seem ok, and nothing really that awful is happening. Their level of discomfort is not yet bad enough to compel them to change anything.
But that uncomfortable feeling of “I could do more” builds up and builds up until one day they go, “You know what, fuck this. I’m gonna go to the gym. I’m sick of looking in the mirror and not liking who I am. I’m sick of not living up to my potential. I know I can do and be more.”
And so they go to the gym, going for a couple of days, and then it starts to hurt. Maybe it becomes difficult, or maybe their insecurities start coming out and they don’t know how to deal with them, maybe they hit their first real challenge that requires a bit of perseverance and not quitting. In other words, they get to a point that takes a bit of effort.
Some of them just quit in that moment, going straight back to their comfortably uncomfortable life. Some of them push through and use willpower, but after a couple more weeks they run out of “juice” (motivation). Their legs hurt, they’re tired, they have less time for other things they were doing before, they feel like they’ve had to give up a bunch of things in order to make time for this new gym habit. They’ve had to make a couple of sacrifices and reprioritise a few things in their life. They feel like they have now lost something.
They ask themselves, “How happy am I now? Before [when they were living their comfortably uncomfortable life], I was probably a 6 out of 10 in happiness. Now my legs hurt and I’m tired and I’m spending all this time in the gym and it sucks, I’m a 2 out of 10 in happiness! This fucking sucks! I’ve gone down in happiness! I don’t get to eat cakes like I used to, now I have to eat healthy, I miss stuffing my face with yummy foods, I miss being able to relax after a hard day’s work without having to go to the gym, I miss self-medicating and it just being easy. Now, whenever I have a bad day, I don’t even get to self-medicate and make myself feel better with cake or alcohol or my other comfort foods, because those things would conflict with me trying to lose weight. And so now I’m a 2 out of 10 in happiness, before I was a 6.
“This must be a scam. Maybe the gym is a scam. Or maybe this isn’t for me. Or maybe I’m not the kind of guy who can go to the gym.”
And they’ll go back to their comfortably uncomfortable life because it seems easier.
But the thing they don’t realise is if they had just… pushed… through… they would have become an 8 out of 10 in happiness, maybe a 9 in happiness. And the entire rest of their life would be amazing, the world would open up for them, they could have and do and be whatever they wanted, and they could live an amazing life full of abundance. But they quit too early, before the payoffs started to happen.
And they also don’t realise that now they’ve gone back to their comfortably uncomfortable life, this whole cycle will just repeat itself. A year or two years from now, they’ll go “Man, my life isn’t what I want it to be… maybe I should think about going back to the gym again”. They’ll use willpower and motivation again, they’ll push themselves for a few weeks but it’ll get hard again, so they’ll quit again.
This is why people do new year’s resolutions, and then fail them 5 weeks later, then repeat that cycle every fucking year. They use all that discomfort of the past year where they didn’t achieve anything, they’ll fire themselves up and go “Ok! THIS is the year I change! I’m sick of being comfortable, let’s go!” and then a couple weeks later they quit again.
Many of you right now are in that period of discomfort in the first few weeks or months of your self-improvement journey. You’re asking yourself, “Is this for me? Can I really do this? Can I make it? Can I actually improve?” You’re a 2 out of 10 in terms of happiness; it feels like life has gotten harder since you signed up for this self-improvement thing. You’re asking yourself if you should stick it out and continue, or go back to your comfortable life. Because after all, it wasn’t that bad, right?
I want you to listen to me – there’s glory waiting for you if you just don’t fucking quit. If you hang in there, life will become a 3 out of 10, then a 4, then 5, then a 6, and before you know it, you’ll be at a 7 out of 10 in terms of happiness – greater than you were before. Then you’ll blitz past that and be sitting at an 8, then a 9, and one day you’ll wake up and realise you’re a 10 out of 10 and there’s nothing more you could possibly wish for; everything else you achieve for the rest of your life is just a beautiful bonus.
That’s what is waiting for you. Glory, goals, happiness, achievements, gratitude, love, joy, giving back, making the world a little better, being present, enjoying what you have – that’s all waiting for you. But if you quit now, you’ll just go back to the life you already know wasn’t really making you happy (otherwise you wouldn’t have jumped on the self-improvement train in the first place).
So be brave. Don’t quit. Hang in there and see this thing through. So many other people have been in your position, and they quit, throwing themselves back into the cycle of new years resolutions, complacency, unhappiness and sometimes existential hell. Other people have been in your position and they just stuck it out, hanging in there and hoping, praying, begging to the gods that it would get better.
And get better, it did. You know most of these people – I’ve interviewed them on my podcast, talked about them in articles and youtube vids, I’ve shared their struggles and their triumphs. You can be amongst them, you can become one of the greats, if you just keep pushing forward and being that unrelenting badass I know you can be.
I believe in you.
P.S. If you want help with this, if you want someone to hold your hand and guide you through the first few difficult weeks of self-improvement, join our coaching program – we’re here for you.