These first world problems spread and grow as we are now able to share and communicate them in an unprecedented fashion. We look to the world for sympathy when things don't go exactly our way and expect others to join in with our unhappiness. Whilst this amplification of our difficulties may bring us likes and followers it rapidly undermines our resilience. Soon we reach the point where we have little backbone for the tough stuff and cry 'suffering' in an increasing amount of situations.
Thankfully there are solutions for the situations described above and, if practiced, can reap benefits beyond developing a stronger stomach for discomfort. In a world where the collective shoulders of society are narrowing it presents opportunities for those who have broadened theirs to step forward and take the lead. Resilience and the ability to work with discomfort are the new transferable skills of choice.
The skill we are looking to develop here is tolerating discomfort, quietly and humbly shouldering the load, without expectation of plaudits for doing so. There are many opportunities to start practicing this skill. I've listed several below but I encourage you to explore your own. For maximum effect try to incorporate at least one each day:
- Hard physical training
- Cold showers/baths
- Public speaking
- Embarrassment e.g. wearing old/unfashionable clothes
- Practicing poverty e.g. living on a few £ for a day
- Menial or maual labour
- Speaking to someone new
The more you practice the options described above the sooner you will start to distinguish between what you previously thought of as suffering and what is simply discomfort. You will also start to learn that the more uncomfortable you make yourself the more you start to grow, learn and develop. There is an old adage about successful people being those that have spent the most time being uncomfortable. So today I challenge you to ask yourself each day, 'what have I done to make myself feel uncomfortable today'. Try this and see where it takes you.