Learn to be good with discomfort

After two days driving to work, this morning’s bike commute seemed . . . annoying somehow.

Why should I expend all this energy pushing pedals when I could just hop in the car and be there in half the time?

It’s deviously attractive to take the easy way out.

But the easy way does not lead to amazing things.

I once read a study that showed that runners are viewed more positively at work as compared to their non-running colleagues.

I wonder if that positive association is actually correlated with grit – the ability to tough it out and get things done, to accomplish a goal in spite of adversity.

A friend on social media shared an article this morning that I started thinking about while some other part of my brain was whining about how difficult it was to *groan* bike uphill *moan* against the wind.

It was a Lifehacker article – “How to Decide What to Do with Your Life.” A great read for recent grads (or others facing the blank canvas of a new beginning).

There was a section that gave a lot of ammunition to the rational part of my brain that was fighting the whiny part.

Learn to Be Good with Discomfort

One of the most important skills you can develop is being okay with some discomfort. The best things in life are often hard, and if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you’ll miss out. You’ll live a life of safety.

Learning is hard. Building something great is hard. Writing a book is hard. A marriage is hard. Running an ultra-marathon is hard. All are amazing.

If you get good at being accustomed to a little discomfort, you can do anything. You can start a business, which you couldn’t if you’re afraid of discomfort, because starting a business is hard and uncomfortable.

How do you get good at this? Do things now that are uncomfortable and hard, on purpose. But start with small doses. Try exercising for a little bit, even if it’s hard, but just start with a few minutes of it, and increase a minute every few days or so. Try writing a blog or meditating every day. When you find yourself avoiding discomfort, push yourself just a little bit more (within limits of reason and safety of course).

Great advice for life, and a good pep talk for starting or getting back into running. Also appropriate for Juneathon. Writing something every day is hard, too.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw