Comfort makes your comfort zone shrink. Discomfort pushed your boundaries. You can learn to be at ease in situations that would break most people.
If you want to see how soft people are getting, have a look at how they respond to cold. I wrote this in London a few days ago. What was the weather like? I’m not going to pretend it was tropical – it was darn chilly. But based on how people dressed, you’d think they were in a blizzard.
Instead, it was a brisk five degrees Celsius (or 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
Let me tell you – I got the strangest looks riding the Underground in a T-shirt.
And I read somewhere the average London home in winter is six degrees warmer now than in the 1970s.
I don’t mean to be bagging on London. It’s a great city full of great people.
And I’m definitely not saying us Aussies are tougher with anything, let alone the cold.
My point is this:
I travelled from a northern Australian summer to a grey London winter. The temperature shock could have broken me. If anyone had an excuse to rug up in ski gear, it was me.
Instead, I took cold showers.
After one of those, even London feels comfortable.
I’m not saying I was always at ease. I shivered, hugged myself and cursed the icy breezes.
But I was a whole lot comfier than if I’d kept myself warm the whole time.
Discomfort trains you to handle discomfort.
If you want to be warm in winter, don’t turn the heater on. That’s an external source of heat. If you take cold showers (or even better – ice baths), then you become the source of heat.
You can carry that with you anywhere you go.
And you can freak people out by wearing shirts while they wear coats over jackets over cardigans over thermals.
How do you learn to embrace discomfort and find your inner strength?
This is the ultimate benefit of mindfulness. People talk about it calming and grounding you, which it does. It also allows you to observe sensations without identifying them.
There’s a world of difference between “I’m cold” and “this body feels as though it’s cold”.
It’s a subtle and powerful distinction, one few people bother to make. And it’s why meditation – real meditation – puts you ahead of everyone else.
The power of your mind comes from seeing experiences for what they are.
It won’t make you indestructible.
But it will make you stronger.
And over time, you’ll adapt to more challenging environments while everyone else’s comfort zones shrink. Watch young kids play in the snow and you’ll see how well they handle the cold. Most adults neglect that ability, so they lose it.
Mindfulness helps bring it back.
And here’s the wild part: mindfulness is the start of your meditation journey. If you stop there, people will notice how well you handle every situation. Your fortitude won’t be denied.
If you keep going, though? The inner power you’ll unlock is indescribable.
There are easy and hard ways to master it, though.
Follow this no-nonsense, practical guide and you’ll get there: