A Good Uncomfortable

Have you ever been too comfortable?

You’re sitting on the couch, not really doing much, but all warm and comfy, and too comfortable to get up.

You’re in your tent late at night, and nature is calling… really calling, but you are so comfortable, and it is cold, and then you’d have to put your shoes on, and go find the TP and… you know.

The game is on, and it’s been a pretty decent turnout for both teams, but one is clearly going to win, they are fairly comfortable in their lead, and they’ve got home advantage as well. No real purpose to ramp the lead up too much, is there? Except the visiting team has a history of coming truly alive in the last quarter.

Many of us in the developed world have made being comfortable our highest priority. We’ve excelled at creating and acquiring the most advanced comforts. Beyond just running water and electricity, we have automatic dishwashers, automatic clothes washers, automatic can openers, automatic TV receivers and DVRs, automatic lights, automatic coffee makers, and automatic garage openers. Sooner or later we’re gonna figure out a way to make daylight conform to our plans.

Does anything good come out of this? Yes, of course. We are able to go about our lives, doing our work, without having to figure out how to wash our next load of laundry by hand. But there is something about inconvenience that helps us be more creative.

My husband and I moved recently to a new home, and our new kitchen, albeit small, has most of the modern equipment. Except one thing. We have no microwave. Now, I’ve lived without a microwave before, and so I figured out a few different ways to use the tools we have to warm up our leftovers. But at some point, we discovered that if we did have a microwave, then it would mean that we didn’t have to wash so many dishes after the meal. I’m not entirely sure I have anything against microwaves, but it was fun for me to figure out the different ways that I could prepare food again without one.

I would never have figured out how to do that if I didn’t need to. A temporary discomfort led me to be far more creative than I otherwise might have had the chance to be.

It is these possibilities that I think we are starving ourselves of when we continue to bow to the next line of conveniences. What about necessity being the mother of invention? If we don’t need anything, do we ever create anything?

I hope, today, that you need something. And that you have to figure out something new so that you can succeed.

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