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Best selling author and US Navy SEAL, Thom Shea discusses what life is like when you stop quitting and become the best version of yourself.


Sep 23, 2019

An Uncomfortable Life.

It is ok to be comfortable, it is ok to be uncomfortable. The outcome is very different.

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I personally question why people seek comfort so happily. What causes people to choose to watch TV for an hour when they could have worked out for at least 30 minutes instead? What makes people desire to sleep past dawn, instead of getting up and reading a book or writing a book?

The idea that is perpetuated these days that a great life is to sit in an expensive car, or on an expensive couch, in a million dollar house is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. You are killing your spirit to ask it to work hard to then measure the value of working hard by ultimately being lazy at the end. This notion is tragic.

What is so comfortable about working an 8 hour day making an hourly wage, to come home and pay taxes and save 10% and sit and watch tv and eventually gain weight, and argue with your kids or your spouse about doing something extraordinary because you are tired? Comfort is deceptive, because it is uncomfortable.

What if you discarded all notions of comfort and embraced the reality of an uncomfortable life?

It is a negative way to begin a podcast. I get it. But comfort kills everything. Comfort kills passion. Comfort kills health. Comfort drains income. Comfort causes divorce. Comfort destroys everything great in your life.

Where to begin to kill comfort and embrace being uncomfortable? Raise tough kids. Raise your kids to be tough. Raise your kids to do hard things. Raise your kids to face fear. Raise your kids to push the envelope in every endeavor. Teach your kids to go for it.

Let your kids get dirty. Let your kids get blisters. Let your kids fail. If your kid is bullied make them confront the bully. Let them take a punch and give one. You are crippling your kids by making them avoid discomfort. If you don’t show them and shape them as a parent, society will take advantage of them very quickly unbeknownst to you. Society will make them soft and they will struggle in every uncomfortable situation. And let me tell you, most great things are uncomfortable so your kids won’t be doing the uncomfortable things.

How do you do this as a parent? First, tell your kids you love them every single day even if you are poor, rich, angry, sad, divorced, lost your job, stubbed your toe…tell them. Because, it is very uncomfortable to express love and be loved. It is easier to be isolated.

Second, show them how to be excessive early in life. If you are throwing baseball with them throw the ball 100 times. If they are trying to learn a spelling word have them spell it 100 times or write it down 100 times. If they want to get strong have them do 100 pull ups before they decide if they like it or not.

Thirdly, demonstrate to the how to do something for 24 hours without sleeping.

If you don’t role model the value of being uncomfortable, or practicing 100 times, you guarantee their failure.

Because here is the reality of success throughout life. Success is very uncomfortable. Normally, success takes years and thousands if not millions of iterations to finally cross the line. Success takes so many failures and breakdowns and uncomfortable moments that if you don’t show them early and keep them accountable to getting back up every time, you literally make them fail.

It takes 2–3 years of running 5 miles a day, and tweaking your diet, and getting physical therapy or massages, and getting sick and turning your ankle and getting blisters, and getting up early, and running in the rain or cold or hot weather to complete an ultra marathon. Teach your kids that reality.

It may take 10 years in business to get out of debt, or make a profit, or buy the home you want, or make enough money to invest in a company. You will have to work late, work weekends, miss your kids dances or games, you will miss a birthday or anniversary. You will fire people or even be fired. You will get bad-mouthed, you will question yourself, you will lose money, worse you may make a lot of money, then get lazy and lose it. Show your kids that reality. Don’t hide it from them.

Success takes countless hours and years to be realized. That is the way of it. Every single sport demands the uncomfortable life long pursuit. The top shooters in the world shoot at least 2000 rounds a day or even worse they dry fire their guns 2000 times in their basement every day. Top golfers putt 100 balls a day, and chip 100, and drive 100 before they even go on the course…every day.

Top salespeople or top businesspeople practice and rehearse, and go over strategy and tactics so often it drives everyone crazy. If you want to sell something to someone, commit to getting 100 “nos” from them. It may take 5 years of living in your car to finally get that deal. If you don’t teach your kids this level of relentless discomfort you are instead ensuring they fail.

The irony of embracing being uncomfortable is that success comes. You find great comfort in practice because you know you are getting better even if there is pain. You find immense pleasure in difficult issues because you know you will eventually resolve them. Doing hard things makes you feel better. There is great relief when the thing you are working on finally turns. Comfortable things always leave you at a loss and with no way to win.

Love your kids enough to make them hard. Make them tough. Make them practice until they fail, then help them get back on the horse. Show them relentlessness and be the one who holds them accountable to keeping after it.