True growth happens outside your comfort zone. When we get comfortable, we often become stagnant in life. Things are easy and familiar in our comfort zone. Nobody likes the fear of the unknown all the time. So it’s no wonder people naturally gravitate to their comfort zones. But there’s so much value from stepping outside your comfort zone. When we become uncomfortable we often learn more about the world and ourselves. In the simplest terms, there’s a lot more to explore outside our comfort zone.
But that doesn’t take away from the point that some things are just not worth the level of discomfort. Think about what you can learn by swimming in a frozen lake. Maybe you’ll have a short adrenaline rush but the amount of discomfort your body goes through can literally lead to death. It’s important to know what kind of discomfort leads to growth and what kinds of discomfort leads to deterioration. And the best way to do that is to actively take note of what makes you uncomfortable and why. So ask yourself, “What makes me uncomfortable?”
Here’s a short story on what makes me uncomfortable.
Well talk about perfect timing. I couldn’t have had a better story to answer a question about being uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable in many different situations in life. When I go to a party and there’s a big crowd of people to navigate through, I’m uncomfortable. When I have to talk to people and strike some pointless small talk, I’m uncomfortable. And when I’m spending weeks or months being unproductive, I’m uncomfortable. But that’s nothing compared to this recent story of my discomfort.
It was a normal afternoon and I was just finishing up some work. Actually, I just finished answering my daily question just like this one. And my friend and I were bored with nothing to do. We usually just kick it and watch a movie or some new tv show that was hyped up on the interwebs. But we weren’t feeling that this evening. I thought maybe I’d browse some Quora or find an interesting article to read on Medium. But she decided she would roll up a blunt of weed and have a short smoke session.
I was always intrigued by what the hype of weed was all about. She was never really into weed herself but just got sucked into it about a month ago. And it seemed like she was liking it more and more as the weeks went on. Being someone with a painful blood disorder, I had experienced my fair share of strong opiods and controlled substances. And trust me after years being in and out of the hospital it’s clear why those things are so addictive. But marijuana was still a question mark to me.
Once before I ate a rice krispy with marijuana in it and basically fell asleep not feeling much or really liking it. But many friends including this one told me smoking it and eating it was two completely different experiences. So out of boredom, curiousity, and the fact that I would try just about anything once, I decided to give it a go with her. We went on the patio and she started lighting the spliff. I tried taking a hit and had no idea why the smoke wasn’t going into my lungs.
It smelled toxic and unsafe as it was burning but I just followed her lead. Eventually I got the smoke to flow into my lungs and puff out like the pros. But boy was it harsh on my throat. And when I say I was huffing and puffing from the smoke… I thought I was literally going to cough up my liver. A few minutes later, and she was very high with droopy eyes. I felt exactly the same as I did thirty minutes ago. It was another fluke. We went upstairs to resolve back to our routine of watching shows and movies.
But as I was sitting in bed I started feeling weird. I thought I was sitting still but it felt like I was swaying back and forth endlessly. Then I started laughing uncontrollably at absolutely nothing. It felt like the laughter faucet was burst open and the giggles couldn’t stop. It was actually more uncomfortable than amusing. Then worst of all I would be thinking about something and then completely lose track of my train of thoughts. No matter how hard I tried to focus my mind would blank and I would just be sitting in a daze.
Eventually there was a little euphoric and relaxed feeling while lifelessly watching who knows what. I couldn’t even actively watch anything because I would forget what I was watching and thinking every five minutes. Overall it makes me uncomfortable when I’m not in control of my mind, my actions, and my destiny. Living a life with no control is just a cruel and toxic existence. I see there’s some value in smoking weed but it wasn’t worth the level of discomfort being out of control of my own mind.
Thanks but no thanks for the new experience, Friend!