This was originally published in 2013, below some revision.
There was nothing but the title in it and a faint idea of what it should be about. Recently I came by the article on zenhabits.net regarding the discomfort and it made me finish this post. I would like to tell you about couple of discomforts of my life from past months and my learning from it.
In May 2012 I joined company DEVELOR. I just finished the job in Egypt with Alcatel-Lucent and through some luck and hard work I managed to be hired for Key Account Manager in DEVELOR Slovakia even before I finished in Egypt (you can find my „motivational letter“ on slideshare).
Since then, it has been a roller-coaster ride. I realised that it is first time that I work in a company and environment that is really strongly different and diverse. Everyone in my office is different and many of the people are in terms of communication and work style my strong opposites. It’s luck that we work with personal typology and communication as well and that helps me to understand and adapt.
Though I really like the job and the company, my work as a sales guy isn’t easy for me. I’m not a typical profile to do sales. I’m not naturally assertive. I don’t really flourish in contact with new and unknown people. There are things that I am naturally good at that can help me in sales, but many of the „sellers attributes“ I’m missing. There have been and still are moments when I want to pack my backs and run away. They still occur 🙂 But still, here I am. I stay and fight. It hurts often, but most of the time it hurts in a good way.
UPDATE 2015: I’m just finishing the 3rd year in DEVELOR. The pain of daily operations went down of course through learning. Still, there’s a lot of activities which I’m not made for and I have to deliver.
RUNNING, READING, EATING, EXERCISING
I started running in 2011 a bit, but 2012 I’ve gone further. I ran 350 km during last year.
[Now I set myself to reach 1000 km and run a marathon.] UPDATE 2015: I’ve scrapped the goal of marathon after I completed the half-marathon in 2013. I even stopped running for some half a year altogether, but I’m back on track. I don’t want to target for such long distance runs, because this is where the pain is going from „enjoy the pain“ to „starting to fear the pain“.
Still, what I like about running most is one thing – every step I either achieve or fail. I can push through the pain and make one more step. Or quit. It wasn’t easy to wake up in the morning one hour earlier and go run. That is the hardest part – get dressed and step out of the front door and start running. I had many days when I didn’t want to do it.
I picked up regular reading in 2011 as part of monthlong initiative. I read 22 books last year. When I started, I set myself to read 30 minutes every day for one straight month. I remember days when I came home, tired of work and all other things and the last thing I wanted was to still do something like reading. But I knew, that if I don’t stop, reading will become part of my life, that I cannot live without. So I kept on going.
In August 2012 I started doing something for my body as well – exercises and change of eating. I met with Andrej Ulicny, who introduced me to convict conditioning exercises and helped me to change my dietary habits. Many time when I had to exercise I felt like not doing it. Every time I had to say no to some food I used to like, I wanted so bad to have it. It was uncomfortable and painful each and every time. I managed to lose over 10 kg since then and most importantly, I feel much better. Without getting over the discomfort of change, I would still be where I was those 6 months ago.
UPDATE 2015: Today, I work with Mišo Duchoň as my personal trainer, and right now I’m in my „Sixpack Adventure Challenge„. This works pretty well to get me into shape I’m aiming for. With Mišo I found the right way to train myself into a healthy and fit person.
WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?
There are things that hurt. New job. Different people. Exercising. New eating habits. Reading. Writing. Anything, that we are not used to hurts. Every second out of comfort zone is painful.
It is good that it hurts. It means you are developing.
This sentence I tell to myself each and every time I consider quitting. This, and a clear picture of what I want to achieve keeps me going on.
UPDATE 2015: I changed this from sentence to a question – I rather ask myself:
Are you considering quitting because it is hard to get done or because it makes no sense and the pain vs gain is no more valuable to you?
Learning to enjoy the „good pain“ is one of the key habits that we need in our life. And over past months I’ve gotten to the stage, where I can appreciate and enjoy the pain. It hurts so good when I know I’m growing.
Once we quit when it hurts a bit, we stop moving forward. Only when we master the pain which discomfort brings, we can grow. Master and enjoy the good pain.
If you want to read more about mastering the discomfort zone, I really recommend the article on zenhabits blog.
And don’t forget to let me know, how you are doing around discomfort. Have you started to enjoy the pain?