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Here's Why You Should Do Hard Things

by Jamie Jackson 3 months ago in self help
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Embrace discomfort because the truth knows you and it’s coming

Here's Why You Should Do Hard Things
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens through you, and you are defined by the extremities of your experiences.

You don’t grow in everyday life, you grow mostly in moments of hardship. That’s where you develop, that’s where you push life’s boundaries and define who you are.

If you don’t do hard things if you chase comfort and avoid hardship, how do you define yourself? Who the fuck are you anyway? How do you know?

It is only through suffering you discover your potential and what you have inside. It is only in the moments of crisis and pressure you find character.

Navy Seal and ultra-runner David Goggins summarised this best when he said:

“If you’re willing to suffer, and suffer, and go back in the grind, that internal dialogue you have with yourself when you’re in misery and you’re uncomfortable, it’s a real, scary, unfiltered, no lying dialogue between you and yourself ... That’s who you really are, that’s the real you.

That’s where the growth happens.

When you’re able to stay in that moment, and talk yourself back into the suck of whatever you’re going through, and you start stripping those layers away, as you’re stripping those layers away, you’re building calluses over the top of shit in your mind. That’s where the growth starts to happen, when you have to force yourself to stay in it. You can’t leave it.” - David Goggins

Every day I cold shower. There are myriad health benefits to this practice but the main reason why I do it is this:

I don’t want to do it.

Each morning I face myself, my complaining mind, my bargaining, my fear. I do it to embrace the suck to keep me mentally strong and to know who I am. Each day I’m showing myself I can push back against fear and do it.

You can only truly understand yourself at the edge of your tolerance and knowing yourself is crucial. As Howard Gardner wrote in ‘Frames of Mind’:

“The less a person understands his own feelings, the more he will fall prey to them.”

Most of us don’t know our strengths and weaknesses, our blind spots, our neuroses, we don’t know where best to put our energy, so we randomly fire it off in one direction then another, never making progress.

Sound familiar?

Aristotle said:

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle

Your relationship with you is the most important foundation for your life, from which all other things are built.

Liberate yourself from comfort. You’re a slave to everything you hide from.

The trap in life isn’t that you will fail and be humiliated, the trap is that you’ll embrace comfort and will never grow.

It sounds cynical, or perhaps judgemental, but the fact is most people don’t want to put in the work necessary to make a good life, so instead, they play the victim and pretend their lack of substance is someone else’s fault.

Substance only comes from hardship.

It doesn’t matter if you went to a private school, had a rich daddy, never had to work a job in your life, you can still meet hardship head-on. You don’t need to be a working-class hero to do hard things, build substance, develop character, find out what you’re made of.

You can lift weights, take up endurance sports, martial art, join a public speaking society, learn how to chat to the opposite sex (possibly the most terrifying one of all) — You have to meet your fears head-on.

Spiritual author Geoff Thompson drew out a pyramid and put all his fears in order. At the top sat his greatest fear: physical confrontation. So, he became a bouncer at a rough nightclub to meet that fear and vanquish it.

He explains in several books once he confronted a fear, it dissipated and massive potential opened up. He has discovered he was capable of much more than he realized.

He then used this same principle to write and publish a book and leave his factory job. He explains:

“Everything is possible but our ego doesn’t want to see these things and it will fight to the death not to let you see them because the moment you see consciousness, it’s consumed, it’s gone, it doesn’t exist. The ego can’t exist in the light of consciousness… I just suddenly knew everything was possible. I was a still working on the door as a bouncer and I was on talk shows with Hollywood superstars.” - Geoff Thompson

Real success, real happiness, is feeling good about who you are when you’re alone when the light goes off at night and it’s you and your thoughts.

The truth knows you and it’s coming.

You can’t cheat your way out of this, you must face struggling to develop self-esteem else you’ll be walking around with a hole in your spirit, a false sense of bravado, an ego as a shield.

The struggle is pure. It’s you versus you. It’s on the edges of insanity you’ll discover your true self. There is no hiding. If you don’t go to those edges and peer over into the abyss once in a while, how do you know what you have inside?

You have to act. You have to meet yourself at those edges. Action cures anxiety and self-discipline is the seed of all emotional emancipation.

Do hard things, not for anyone else but for yourself.

self help

About the author

Jamie Jackson

Between two skies and towards the night.

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