Very Comfortable

Those of us that have the privilege of being born in the western hemisphere, especially into a family living in the First World, generally live in such amazing comfort that even kings of old would have a hard time competing with it.

Comparatively speaking, we’ve got it made. In a word, we’ve grown comfortable.

Curiously, we’ve also just grown. According to many studies, more than 2/3rds of North Americans are obese. There are many forces at work in this unhappy cultural phenomenon, and I’m no expert on the topic. But it stands to reason that it’s quite possible that this epidemic comes from too much comfort. In which case, this comfort is extremely expensive.

A person in extreme cold is most at risk when they begin to feel…warm. Without immediate intervention, they’ll calmly drift off to sleep, content in their comfort, and freeze to death.

Growing up, I was shy. Painfully so. And one of the shortest kids in my class until my sophomore year in high school. As you might guess, I got picked on, teased and bullied. A lot. Both brothers (older) didn’t help much. Before graduating, I determined to try new things. Things that others tended to recoil at. My intention was to push myself until I got comfortable with being uncomfortable, or I completely freaked out and crawled into myself.

So, I did. First, it was hunting (deer, elk and bear). Then scuba diving (lakes, Puget Sound, English Bay, night diving). Then rock climbing (that’s me, in Smith Rock), all over the western states. I’ve completed the STP (Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic) several times, and rafted Class 4 rivers. Swinging 50′ above ground on a ropes course always gets my attention (Waterhouse Center is my favorite).

Then Uncomfortable

All these experiences served me well for, perhaps, the most daunting of all my discomforts: going into business. It is way more comfortable to just “go to work” and do your job, because when your shift is over you can go back home. Maybe the pay stinks, but you’re not likely to spend much time thinking about work after you’ve gone home. But when it is your business…it’s your business. While there can be tremendous satisfaction in owning your business, it requires guts, perseverance and a comfortable embrace with discomfort.

Besides tomorrow, please continue to support your local small businesses throughout the year. Bringing them your business will also bring them a little more comfort in their daring adventure of running a small business.

Engage here.

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