Choose Your Induction

Read the comfort zone first.

My wife and I just finished watching The Pharmacist on Netflix, which I highly recommend. It got me thinking about addiction. With comfort in mind, what is the difference between drug use and exercise?

If our comfort is a subjective experience, which we know it is, what does exercise do to it? Essentially exercise is pain. To exercise with any sort of effort causes pain. So if you compare the time you are exercising to the time you are not exercising, the time you are not exercising is more pleasurable.

In the same way, if you are on opiates, your experience is changed. Compared to your high, everything is more painful off drugs. So the baseline human experience when compared to drug impairment is pain.

So you see, these two devices could work in reverse ways. One induces pain to make the rest of the day more pleasurable. And the other induces pleasure to make the rest of the day more painful.

So what will you induce, pleasure or pain?

Ending the Comfort Zone

We all have a comfort zone.  There are certain things that we prefer. And other things that we prefer not to do. And some things we’ve never done.

Things inside the comfort zone are obviously comfortable. And anything outside the comfort zone is uncomfortable-except for the unknown. This is obviously a relative thing, some things can be more comfortable than others, and more uncomfortable than others.

Inside the comfort zone, we can still have two things, one more comfortable than the other. So if we choose more and more comfortable things, you can see pretty easily how the comfort zone can become smaller and smaller.

But you see, if comfort and discomfort are relative values on the same scale, we are only talking about values in a single space. Essentially, a pleasure metric. As we try new things, they find their place on our scale.

And the more pleasurable something is, the less reason we need to do it. The more uncomfortable something is, the more reason we need to do it.

There is another category: the unknown. Of course the unknown could be comfortable or uncomfortable in itself. Then after the unknown is known it becomes either comfortable or uncomfortable.

But what if we no longer value the comfort in things? Then reason is all that is left. Of course, comfort in itself is a reason, but a subjective one. We are no longer ranking what is most comfortable, but what we think is the right thing.

And the unknown is no longer comfortable or uncomfortable. It too, is only right or wrong. So that if we believe that something unknown is the right thing, it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable we think that it may be.

So our map of pleasure fades, because it no longer matters. What matters is right and wrong. That’s all that’s left. 

Exit the Loop

If the only thing in life that is constant is change, what variables are you fixing to try to stay the same?

  • Your weight
  • Your looks
  • Your diet
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your workout routine
  • Your job
  • Your stress
  • Your income
  • Your vision
  • Your happiness
  • Your stress
  • Your comfort

Don’t bottleneck yourself into who you think you should be. Or even worse, who other people think you should be.

We’ve proven over and over again how the body adapts to increasing stress. So don’t get trapped in a loop of increasing comfort. And don’t take the path of least resistance. Take the path that leaves the biggest mark.