Comfort here is not the feeling of sleeping on a nice bed, or lounging in an expensive couch. The comfort we are discussing here is the tendency to drop the ball when you feel like things are going your way. It’s a destructive lethargy, and horrible complacency. To dissect this further, let’s compare the actions of uncomfortable people versus those who get too comfortable.
Uncomfortable people do uncomfortable things. They wake up at outrageous hours of the morning to head to work, and work around the clock. People, who are uncomfortable about how they look; hit the gym, take up jogging, sign up for half marathons, get on diets, and seek out products that are friendly to their skin tones. People, who are uncomfortable about their bank account balance; get a second and sometimes even third job, they get a side hustle, they seek out investment opportunities, and even think about getting into entrepreneurship.
Comfortable people are just that, comfortable. They are the “if it’s not broke, why fix it?” type of people. They don’t strive for much, just more of the same. They compare their previous uncomfortable lives with the lives they are living now, and feel triumphant. “They made it” so every day is a holiday. Why try to break a sweat? My body’s perfect. “Why try to hustle harder? I can support myself with what I earn. Why try to cut the drinking? My alcohol intake hasn’t had me hospitalized yet. Why develop the habit of reading? What I already know is serving me well.
What do you notice about these two groups of people? The former are driven, they want something better, they are relentless, they keep pushing, they check their excesses, and they keep their eyes on the ball. The latter on the other hand are reluctant to lift a finger. Their feelings of comfort have them incarcerated in a false sense of security. They see their freer schedules as something to be proud of and a goal that should be pursued which it is, until it’s abused.
If you get too free, bad things can begin to happen. Bad habits begin to be formed, bad company begins to be entertained, and things you once wrote-off as being “beneath you”, suddenly become tolerable. Then sometimes the worst happens. The things that made you comfortable go away and you get thrown into a panic. The clutch you leaned on is gone, the raft that kept you afloat breaks apart, and now you are in deep sea without a soul in sight to help you survive.
This is the risk comfort exposes you to. Can you guard against this? Certainly! You do that by keeping a set of standards. The same way successful companies have mantras and mission statements that remind them of the goal and the focus, you should have one as well. Living without standards leaves you directionless, prone to distraction, and less motivated. Focus repels comfort, the type of comfort that leads to complacency.