As I listen to podcasts that make my mind to open a little more, to push (sometimes uncomfortably) into thoughts that challenge what I know or just flat out annoy me I realize again how good it is to sometimes become uncomfortable. It is in the times we feel discomfort that we have the most room to grow.
Growth can suck. It isn’t really pretty and enjoyable most of the time, but it is freaking awesome once you get past the painful part.
For the longest time I “wanted” a comfortable life. At least that was the thought I had. In some ways I still do. Because I do like my air conditioning, my bed with my soft blankets, having easy to make food to eat. Comfort from that perspective is fine with me. However, in other ways I find I want less comfort. I want the challenge to my thought processes, the knowledge that there is more to learn. Even when it is annoying and I hate the lesson as it starts I know that there is a reason for it. That is where I am trying to put my focus. It isn’t easy. My ego gets in the way. However, I don’t want a life without challenge.
Lately I am doing some activities that challenge me, that require practice and I get frustrated as hell. Expecting that it will just come to me with ease while knowing that isn’t how most of life works. The frustration is good, it means I am expanding and learning. Damn is it hard to remember that in the moment.
Part of this process for me is a desire to not become so comfortable that I quit growing, that I don’t change. Learning is essential to a good life. After all we can never know everything. Just look around and see what we are learning each day about health, science, the world, our universe. It never stops. It is so exciting!
My challenge to myself as I learn is to harness the same excitement I have for learning about the universe to the other things I am learning. To be excited that I haven’t perfected drawing or gaming skills. Also recognizing that I don’t have to be able to do everything well. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I used to think it was a bit egotistical to remind ourselves of what we do well, but as I get older I realize that it is okay to give some focus to what we do well. It helps when you have a hard time with beating yourself up over things you aren’t good at.
My mom is great at math, the woman can do some pretty complicated math problems in her head. I have never been good at that and never cared to be. My brain is more geared toward reading and computer software than hers is. The man in my life is incredibly good at building and projects around the house. He is meticulous at these things. On the other side of that is me, I get an idea and then wing it. Usually when I do a project it is a bit messy and haphazard. There have been time it bugs me that I don’t do those math problems like my mom or that my guy can visualize and then put into action these projects that would take me too long because I didn’t plan and plot it all out.
Strength and weakness. Balance. It is kinda cool to me that these two people who are so important to me are so very different from me in some ways. They both change my life regularly as both tend to be a bit more patient than I am in many ways. Instead of seeing life from my lenses of perception I am learning to see from very different lenses. It is much easier to accept the discomfort of learning when you have some people around who help you look at things differently. Also good, having people to remind you to take it easy on yourself and enjoy the learning. My mom regularly sends me texts to remind me of the things she appreciates about me at the times I am so frustrated with my lack of quick progress. Those texts are priceless! That awesome guy has a tendency to remind me to not get so serious about the little things.
Get uncomfortable. Find hobbies or activities that stretch you beyond your boundaries.