My cats may not yet catch birds, but trying to has made them stronger.
The modern convenience lifestyle has made people weaker. Pampered people get sick at the slightest sign of stress, complain at the smallest inconvenience, tire from the simplest tasks.
No doubt, too much stress is overwhelming. It has a deleterious effect. But I assure you that a little stress and challenge is good for you. As long as there is life is change. And as long as there is change, there is some amount of stress. Stress doesn’t magically disappear when you raise your consciousness. What changes is how you deal with it.
I intentionally create small stress situations in my life to speed up my growth. Going into a cold pool is me creating healthy stress. That could be too much for some people, it could have adverse effects. So they’d start with a mere cold shower after a warm one. Doing a Live-Seminar with a hundred people is me intentionally creating positive stress. I could just as well stay home on Zoom, then I wouldn’t have to deal with all the questions, issues, energies, drama, etc. But not much is learned or gained in a place of comfort. It’s more fun to go out.
A few weeks ago I took a survival training. It was nasty. I learned to skin animals, make my own fire and cook it. To build shelter out of sticks and leaves. To purify water, to fish, to make a spear and many other things. But as harsh as it was, it’s unforgettable. Countless days spent in the comfort of my home in front of a computer are all forgettable. No growth, no learning. Once you realize how much confidence and well-being a little stress can give you, you become addicted to it.
A friend of mine works in real-estate. Their entire company is A.I. controlled, it does almost everything for them,. It checks what sections of a website a person is visiting, sends that person real estate suggestions, chats with the person online if needed, suggests similar houses, compares the person’s data to already existing online databases and profiles of the person, etc. The popular real estate website Zillow, for example, tracks every single move of a visitor. What pages they visit, how long they linger at a certain text or image, what websites they visit after that, etc. I still remember a time when this was called stalking. Apart from the creepy electronic voyeurism, the problem with this is that the “realtor” is left with almost nothing to do. No human-to-human contact necessary for most transactions. A.I. does all the thinking, acting and analyzing for you. In the long run, what kind of “human being” does that create? Even so, A.I. can never replace human creativity and spirit, nor the feeling you get through personal interaction.
I posted this on my Twitter account the other day:
Many say that “A.I. is the future”. I don’t believe so. I believe humans yearn for something different. Real success, healthy and well-being comes through human interaction. Use A.I., don’t be used by it.
It is thought that convenience is freedom and prosperity. To me it’s slavery and poverty – a slavery to the machine and a poverty in human skill.
The Transcending Comfort Exercise
- Define an activity that makes you feel uncomfortable that would make you stronger, healthier or more resilient.
- Set a time for experiencing it while relaxing with it. “I am going to experience it for ____ minutes”.
- Define what rewards await you for relaxing with it (more self-control, less stress, more quality of life, etc.)
- Realize: If you were given a large reward for it, you’d have no problem doing it.
- Do the activity or expose yourself to the experience for the pre-defined amount of time. Repeat at different times with the same thing until the activity or experience no longer bothers you.
The result is that you from the avoidance-life to the embracing-life. You no longer avoid carrying the groceries, you seek to carry them. You don’t avoid talking to neighbors, you seek them out. You don’t hide from unpleasant lessons, you get them over with. This reversal of attitude, “paradoxically”, reduces the number of inconveniences that come your way. But it’s not paradoxical. You keep attracting the things you resist. If I absolutely “can’t stand” a certain type of person, guess who I keep attracting? Because you’re no longer addicted to comfort you also no longer need comfort-food, comfort-entertainment, comforting news, etc. You feel yourself getting stronger and stronger. Complaints become less with each passing month. True well-being sets in and you enjoy life to its fullest.