Today, I discuss the evils of comfort. Then, I cover how to enjoy comfort responsibly.
Table of Contents
- What Is Comfort?
- Why Does Comfort Lead to Contempt?
- How to Enjoy Comfort Responsibly
- Do Not Seek Comfort – Seek Meaning
What Is Comfort?
Comfort is defined as “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.”
Humanity’s pursuit of comfort has led to many incredible things: air conditioning, clean water, modern anesthesia, easy entertainment, and much more. These comforts make life easy, simple, safe, and enjoyable.
Why Does Comfort Lead to Contempt?
“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” – James Baldwin
However, like anything, man’s pursuit of comfort becomes toxic and destructive when led to extremes. When individuals are too aggressive in their pursuit of convenience, we remove all challenges from life. Thus, life loses its meaning as individuals are too weak to oppose the difficulties of existence.
For example, appliances simplify cooking delicious, impressive meals from one’s home. However, we can take the ease of cooking to the extreme by removing ourselves from the equation. We may eat out and pay for the privilege of having someone else cook. Such conveniences lead to higher monthly expenses, reduced time with family, and the removal of accomplishment that comes from enjoying a delicious meal made by one’s hands.
Activities such as cooking or exercising provide meaningful, voluntary challenges that strengthen your character by engaging in a demanding but rewarding activity. Such actions will build your character and prepare you for more extensive, less voluntary challenges such as a death in the family or significant sickness.
If you only pursue a comfortable life, you’ll never build the character needed to succeed through life’s many unavoidable challenges. We all have long-term goals we wish to accomplish, major life events we have to handle, and so on. By pursuing comfort, you’ll become too soft and pathetic to live a fruitful life. Therefore, you will fail. And that failure will make you bitter and live a life full of contempt.
How to Enjoy Comfort Responsibly
As I said, not all comforts are bad. Humans continuously pursue comfort, and such pursuit gives us the glorious world full of technology, medicine, gizmos, and more.
However, we must enjoy comfort responsibly. Firstly, you must recognize that life will always be challenging, and the stronger you are, the less demanding life is. And you cannot become more vital if you are always comfortable.
How do you become stronger? How do you responsibly enjoy your comforts? Through these three techniques.
1) You set clear goals, and you pursue them
Therefore, a purposeful life is too significant to wallow in comfort. If you know what you want to do, your mind will naturally shame you for not pursuing it. You can either follow the goals you have set or feel the wrath of inner turmoil.
Create a life goal, then write out the steps to achieve it. These steps should break down into yearly, monthly, and daily goals. Seek to dominate your day and track the time you spend on each task. Refine your methods, so you can perfect the pursuit of your dreams.
2) You take care of your health
“Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.” – Neil Gaiman
You will feel better when you take care of your health. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle will take you away from the comforts people enjoy. For example, eating well means you aren’t consuming processed food full of brain-numbing chemicals. With a clearer mind, you can perform your tasks better.
Furthermore, good sleep and exercise will help sharpen your mind. Sleep recharges you, and exercise pushes you. Coupled with conscious eating, sleep and exercise will energize you to do something significant with your life. When you have the fuel to accomplish the goals you set, you won’t laze about doing nothing.
Lastly, better health protects you from mental problems such as depression. The fewer depressive thoughts you have, the less likely you are to seek comfort to numb yourself.
3) Enjoy your comforts when you’ve earned them
What if your comforts created a sense of pride instead of shame? When you enjoy the conveniences of the modern world responsibly, you gain rational pride in yourself and your progress. Most individuals blindly enjoy their comforts without earning them. This blind consumption produces shame and guilt as they know they’ve been given what they have not earned.
Therefore, create a rewards system. The more you do, the more you gain. Where do you start? With your goals. Each goal can have a reward attached to it. For example, going to the gym rewards a warm shower instead of a cold one. Or increasing your annual income can mean going on a weekend vacation.
You must ensure the reward matches the effort. Therefore, you must listen to your feelings of guilt and shame. If you feel these negative emotions, your prize does not match your actions. Adjust accordingly.
Do Not Seek Comfort – Seek Meaning
Despite the popular argument, we do not live in an individualist society. We live in a hedonistic one, driven by empty platitudes of “loving oneself” without the need for virtue, hard work, sustainability, and greatness. And within this hedonistic, collectivist culture is a deep self-loathing brought about by weakness and comfort.
We are collectivists at our core because we consume other people for the sake of momentary comfort. This comfort is driven by collective greed and bought by the blood of the productive, innocent, and virtuous.
Comfort breeds contempt. As humans, we naturally despise voluntary weakness and learned victimhood. Because most people are comfort addicts, it is no surprise that our populace is self-loathing and cynical. This self-hatred is rooted in a lack of accomplishment.
But you have the chance to become an outlier. You can improve yourself and, in the process, gain a deeper appreciation for yourself.
“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” – Bill Watterson
- What’s one thing you enjoy doing? Do you overindulge in it? Does this activity produce feelings of shame or guilt? Why?
- What’s one bad habit you wish you could give up? Why do you think it’s so hard for you to give it up?
- Do you know someone who has an addiction or obsession with a particular comfort? What is that person like? How much do they sacrifice to experience their comfort?
- Atomic Habits by James Clear covers the various ways you can overcome bad habits and reinforce goods ones.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.