SUCCESS CAN BE difficult to define, but having invested a large part of my adult life to performance related initiatives, I have witnessed first-hand, a strong understanding of all peak performers.
This understanding, while unconventional and often unspoken can be best summarized in this statement: All progress, change, and success is based on a foundation of discomfort!
This truth applies to every definition of success; it applies to everyone from the teenager in school right up to the CEO in the Boardroom, and to every endeavor.
In short, discomfort is the one constant denominator of success.
Understanding the importance of behavioral discomfort in relation to success is so big, so powerful, and so vitally important to your future that I’m not going to mince words.
Becoming uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and off-balanced is not a nuisance, but a necessity…and every person who has ever been legitimately successful has formed the habit of doing things that others don’t like to do.
HERE’S THE RUB
The problem we have is that society has placed such a high premium on convenience and expediency that it has enabled weakness, while also creating an inability for many to perform at peak levels.
As it relates to your ability to achieve your goals, the message many of us have been brought up with is counterproductive to how success is really achieved.
The acceptance of discomfort explains why people with every apparent qualification for success become disappointing failures, while others achieve outstanding success in spite of many obvious and discouraging handicaps.
Since your ability to embrace discomfort will help to create your future, it’s a brilliant idea for you to use it in determining just what sort of a future you are going to have.
In other words, let’s take this big, all-embracing concept and boil it down to fit the individual you.
If true success lies in one’s ability to understand and enforce discomfort, let’s start the boiling-down process by determining what are the things that most don’t want to be uncomfortable with.
The things that people don’t like to be inconvenienced by are the very same things that you, I and other human beings, naturally don’t like to do.
In other words, we’ve got to realize right from the start that success requires an unconventional approach and a much different philosophical view.
THE DISCOMFORT FACTOR
The list of things that most people don’t want to be inconvenienced by is too long to permit specific discussion, but they can all be disposed of by saying that they all emanate from a willingness to embrace easy and convenient solutions to just about any situation.
The quest for comfort, convenience and expediency is like a drug that continually tempts people to avoid engaging in honorable and admirable behavior.
For the purpose of this post, I present the following as an exercise to spotlight discomfort and inconvenience and expose behavioral convenience for the fraud it really is:
It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to work out when you’re tired. It’s convenient and easy to make an excuse!
It’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to love, when someone has acted inappropriately. It’s convenient and easy to be angry!
It’s inconvenient to teach your child how to tie their shoes. It’s convenient and easy to provide them with slip-ons.
It’s inconvenient to be tranquil in a traffic jam. It’s convenient and easy to get stressed out.
It’s inconvenient to accept 100% responsibility for your behavior. It’s convenient and easy to blame someone else.
It’s inconvenient to tell the truth to ourselves and others. It’s convenient and easy to lie or engage avoidance.
It’s inconvenient to go the extra mile for a client. It’s convenient and easy to say no, it can’t be done.
It’s inconvenient to prepare and practice. It’s convenient and easy to be unprepared while offering a cop out.
It’s inconvenient to confront problems head on. It’s convenient and easy to pretend that they don’t exist.
It’s inconvenient to sacrifice and enforce self-discipline. It’s convenient and easy to be lazy and procrastinate.
It’s inconvenient to tell people what they need to hear. It’s convenient and easy to tell them what they want to hear.
It’s inconvenient and time consuming to cook a well-balanced meal for your family. It’s convenient and easy to order take out.
Perhaps you have been discouraged by a feeling that you were born subject to certain dislikes peculiar to you, with which the highly successful men and women in our society are not afflicted.
Perhaps you have wondered why it is that some people seem to like to do the things that you don’t like to do.
Well, they don’t and the truth is, no one likes being in a state of discomfort or inconvenienced.
It’s just that high performers understand that the road to success is constantly filled with acts of discomfort. They just choose to do what needs to be done.
But if they don’t like being uncomfortable or inconvenienced for whatever reason, then why do they embrace it?
Because by doing the right things at the right time, they can accomplish the things they want to accomplish while feeling great about how victory was achieved.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PEOPLE
Successful people are influenced by the desire for pleasing results.
Yet, the overwhelming majority of people are influenced by the desire for pleasing methods and are inclined to be satisfied with such results as can be obtained by doing things they like to do or simply what they find to be convenient and comfortable.
Why then are successful people able to accept inconvenience, discomfort, and sacrifice while most are not?
Because successful people have a purpose strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don’t enjoy doing in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish and become the person they want to become.
Sometimes even the most disciplined opt for convenience and comfort. When someone goes for the easy way out, it simply means that they have reached a point at which, for the time being, convenience and comfort is more desirable an outcome than inconvenience and discomfort.
And when this occurs you must focus on the bigger picture, on your purpose, and you will at the next opportunity behave properly and do the right thing.