I’ve been thinking a bit this week about the idea of a “comfort zone.” I’ve found that through the pandemic, I’ve tricked myself into thinking that I’m less anxious, but that I’m actually more distressed. Convincing myself of growth in this area is mostly due to comfort - I’m in my house, getting takeout and watching Netflix, not really venturing out. I’m not being challenged in many ways outside of work, or having to confront much resistance. When we’ve gone out, I’ve been more on edge than before the pandemic. I’ve found that staying inside my comfort zone has made it contract.
On the other hand, consciously pushing against the comfort zone makes me more at peace in the long run, which has been an unintuitive discovery for me. A few weeks ago I mentioned the YouTube channel Yes Theory, whose motto is “seek discomfort.” The Yes Theory guys consistently challenge their ease, and appear as a result to live deep, meaningful lives. It seems flourishing is found on the other side of pain.
I realize all of this seems obvious. I think the most surprising thing for me in thinking through my diminishing appetite for discomfort is how gradually this mentality set in. I was genuinely surprised to find that I was more fragile now.
As they say, the first step is knowing. I’m going to consciously look for ways to push my personal boundaries this week. How about you?
Pete’s Picks ✅
Article: I read a Wired article yesterday about pandemic insurance. It was an idea that a few prescient people came up with, but businesses didn’t have any interest in it until too late. I know insurance doesn’t sound interesting, but I thought this was fascinating.
Video: You’ve probably been hearing a lot about TikTok lately. I didn’t really understand its popularity until I watched this video from Colin and Samir. The basic idea is that the TikTok creators baked a kind of lottery sensation into the platform, in which it feels like any of your videos could go viral at any second, which keeps people uploading. Really makes you think. 🤔