To most people, feeling uncomfortable is possibly the worst feeling that one can have. Many people would rather pull out their own teeth than confront a difficult situation in their life. So most people do everything they can to avoid situations that make them uncomfortable. How can this be a bad thing? I mean isn't a Netflix binge a really nice thing to enjoy every once in a few days?
One of my buddies told me an axiom of life that I now live by and use to gauge my level of internal growth. For those of us who are personal development junkies, we all know that getting too comfortable is dangerous; comfort is the enemy of progress. Now its not necessarily dangerous in a sense of putting your life in peril. It is dangerous more so in a sense that too much comfort keeps you from becoming your greatest version and staying in alignment with your life's deepest purpose. Your greatest version never shies away from a challenge. This is because our intuition knows that on the other side of discomfort lies a better version of ourselves. A version that our lazy-self myopically often overlooks.
One of the greatest secrets of life I have learned is that environment plays an incredibly important role in our ability to better recognize our life's deepest purpose. When we are in a toxic environment, it is very difficult for us to stay grounded and focused on our purpose. We get constantly distracted by others or worse, we become emotionally drained from the toll we take being around toxic people. Conversely, when we are in an environment that jives with our personality and aspirations, it will leave us feeling full of abundance and gratitude everyday. Someone who is very tech savvy might flourish in a Silicon Valley environment while someone who is more introspective might flourish in a quiet and peaceful environment.
No one else knows the environment that you flourish in. Only you know the environment that you flourish in. Reflecting on how you operate in a personal and business environment is a great indicator as to what type of environment you need to be in. If you feel drained or uninspired in the current environment you are in, it is a sign that you need to leave that environment.
I had spent the past two years living and traveling in Asia and for a large portion of that time, I resided in the beautiful island of Taiwan. It is not hard to fall in love with this magical place. It's clean, cheap, convenient and close to some of the most beautiful beaches and waterfalls I have ever seen. Not to mention that it has an incredibly low crime rate and everyone is polite and courteous. Living there made me feel like I was in a dream. Although I was working
on my projects during the duration of my stay, I felt that I was not being challenged. I felt like I could casually take my time. I was not really pushed to finish because the cushy environment I enjoyed became too tempting and I gravitated towards laziness. "I would much rather go surfing today!" "I would much rather hammock in the park." Excuses became too easy and I knew that I would not be pushed to finish the ambitious goals I had set for myself if I had continued to stay in that environment. I knew I had to come back home and face my new business ventures and projects head on. No more casual afternoons lounging by a waterfall. I dragged my feet to return home but when I finally returned everything started to fall into place. The right contacts came my way, I felt higher levels of motivation and all of the anxieties I was feeling about my life melted away.
Returning home made me realize the secret that uncomfortable environments can serve as a motivator for change. It is important to mention that we must hold the paradigm that the current uncomfortable environment you are in is only a stepping stone to getting to actualizing your goals. It is important not to fall back into complacency, especially in an environment in which you don't flourish . No pain; no gain.
So what are the key take- aways?
- Understand what type of environment you thrive in based on your personality.
- Change your environment if it is not a good match.
- Flourish in an environment that makes you feel comfortable.
- Know that staying in uncomfortable situations can serve as a temporary catalyst to finish your goals faster.
- Remember that there is always an environment that will make you flourish.