Comfort is the enemy of Achievement


Comfort is the enemy of achievement

Comfort is the enemy of achievement

Why is it that some of the most successful people in the world have come from extremely poor, backgrounds. Many have been abused as children, lived on the streets as a teen, and in the first 20 years of their life, many have seen more of the terrible things that life can throw at a person than most people ever see in their own lifetime.

Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty, abused by her own father and is now one of the richest most powerful media moguls in the world. J.K. Rowling was on the dole, battled depression and is now estimated to be worth close to 1 billion dollars.  Charlize Theron had an alcoholic father and her mother was forced to shoot her dad dead in self defence while Charlize was only in her teens.

Maybe part of their upbringing has given them something special. A desire to never go back to the darkest places they have been. It is more than a desire, it is a must to get so far away from that place. To almost remove themselves from it totally so that going back there can never happen again.  They use the pain to their advantage and do not get comfortable with mediocrity.

Imagine standing next to a bush fire, for some people they stay just far enough away so that they can see the beauty of it, the different colours in the flames, the crackle of the timbers, not forgetting the warmth of the heat. But someone who has been caught in an out of control bush-fire and lost everything, understands how quickly it can happen. They are likely to have a far different perspective. They would do what they can to get as far away as possible to ensure their own safety.

Comfort stops most people from achieving their goals. I myself had wanted to lose weight, just a few kilos I thought, enough so that my gut didn't hang over my pants and so that I didn't feel bad looking in the mirror. It was relatively easy for me to make a decision to lose 5 kilos and get it done, to take me away from the pain. It has been far harder to make myself lose the 15 kilos to get to my ideal weight. For probably the past 10 years I have been able to lose the 5 kilos time and again to be where I was comfortable with my weight. It is only now, using both pain and pleasure that I am close to losing the 15 kilos. That is the pain of how unfit I felt at 90 kg, how my double chin looked in the mirror, how I struggled to do sit-ups because my belly was so big it got in the way. For pleasure it is knowing the lift in confidence I get knowing I am looking fit and healthy. It is playing with my kids and not struggling for breath.

If you really want something bad enough and you are just not getting there you might need to amplify the pain, make it real everyday, you don't have to live it, just use it to propel you forward. Just as important, is envisioning how you would feel achieving your goal. Put yourself there, like you have already achieved your goal. Get a picture in your mind, how does it feel, what does it look like, who are you with.

Comfort is the ENEMY of achievement.

When you are comfortable you are highly unlikely to have the motivation to do what you have to do for success. To give yourself the greatest chance of success it is important that you use both pain and pleasure. For most of us we need them both to give us the motivation required to do the things we have to do to achieve success.