Beware the siren of comfort...


Putting aside the minor offences of breaking and entering, destruction of property, and theft (if you considering eating someone’s porridge wrong), Goldilocks’ real crime was instilling the expectation of comfort —

“ This porridge is too hot; this porridge it too cold; this porridge is just right”

“This bed is too hard; this bed is too soft; this bed is just right”

And for her efforts to be comfortable she doesn’t even confront the bears she burgled, but instead just ran away. I know they’re bears, but still… show a little backbone.

It isn’t just out of the blue I find myself maligning a cherished childhood story but instead it’s a transference after hearing about the membership response to an email from my local fitness club which was sent about the problems with the air conditioning. It never dawned on me that so many people required perfect conditions to engage in some physical fitness — to suggest an increased risk of heat stoke because the temperature was 27 degrees instead of 22 degrees is more than just being misinformed about the tolerances of the human body. Even after the air conditioning was fixed I overheard a member say they turned the temperature down because they like it cool when they work out (I wonder if even Goldilocks would say, “WTF?”). Maybe this has to do with the perceived rights that come whenever you pay for something — much like the person who overreacts when they didn’t get enough cold foam on their Iced Double Cappuccino with Caramel and Cold Foam… and then insists on talking to the manager.

I’m trying to wrap my head around people going to a place that by its very nature is meant to put their mind and body under stress, put undo burden on them (literally), and challenge them… but only if they are comfortable while doing it. Maybe it’s simply a misalignment of expectations or maybe they’re not reading the same pithy motivational memes that I am.

“If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone.” (from the Internet)

“Most everything that you want is just outside your comfort zone.” (from the internet)

“To the degree we're not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves.” (from the Internet)

Of course I want to be comfortable as much as the next person but it’s just a rest stop on an incredible journey for me — at the very most it’s a place to reenergize, catch up on your sleep, and plan for your next adventure. When we get too comfortable we stop learning, growing, exploring , and doesn’t prepare you for anything..

“Lean into the discomfort — because Mother Nature isn’t really that concerned about how comfortable you are when you get outside.” (I made this one up)

If my thinly veiled contempt for people who complain about the temperature is too cryptic, I’d like to suggest the following pen and paper exercise — draw a line down the middle of the paper; title the left side “What I’ve learned when I’m in my Comfort Zone?” and title the right side “What I’ve learned when I’m out of my Comfort Zone?” Take some time to fill it out and let me know if the right side isn’t more meaningful.

As a side note, it’s very hot out today.