Life lessons with yours truly…
This headline is not invented by me, nor would I claim so, but it was swirling around in my head in recent years. Over and over again. Not to credit someone wrongly, but I think the first time I heard something to that degree was when I felt really uncomfortable.
I was lying on my back and a dude twice as old as me, a police man as it later turns out, both of us sweaty, he also twice my weight at least, sat on top of me. I wonder what goes through your head, but we were dressed, it was a hot summer in Munich and maybe twenty people did the same. We were ‘rolling’ (and your thoughts probably still run wild) or sparring on the ground how they called it some Martial Arts.
So not only was I uncomfortable there, I also felt for the first half year after finishing my studies that maybe working in recruiting and being expected to work long hours in a new city that was there to be explored and having no time for it at all was, not great. So this was in the back of my head too, but not at that moment.
That moment was physically uncomfortable, there was a lot of weight on me, it was hard to breathe, I tried to bridge out, but with weight on my midsection and belly that didn’t help. My legs were flailing trying to sweep his legs, but they were comfortably tugged in and then I heard the trainer say: ‘you gotta become comfortable in uncomfortable positions or make your way out of it’ or something to that degree.
It didn’t dawn on me right away, it took hours, it took repetitions, it took finding meaning for that phrase and what I make out of it weeks, months, maybe years. Now that is a bit of a mantra, it is a part of me.
Sometimes I call people weak (jokingly). I don’t mean that they are weak, I mean they are usually complaining about something that can’t be changed at that point in time and with their might. Instead they should just try to become comfortable.
Of course I don’t always do that and I am not a preacher nor am I always correct in that regard, but it works really well for me.
You are on your way to a place and it starts to rain, there is no umbrella, there is no way of getting one in time and you get just as wet running to the next shelter from the rain as if you were walking to your destination? Walk! Smile, walk, look up into the sky and continue, you get wet one way or the other and you get to were you want to go. Be comfortable. Don’t be weak. Be a Samurai or do you think they would run from the rain?
Your water boiler/-heater doesn’t work and the repairman comes tomorrow? Take a cold shower. Enjoy it, you probably can’t fix it and that stuff is insanely good for you. Read it here. Also note that the headline made it’s way into this article and I sound like a smart ass typing this in here, using it, but I swear this showed up on my newsfeed and it couldn’t fit better in this post, that I was planning since Friday.
It’s annoying to wait for the elevator from the 19th floor down? Take the stairs. It’s fun, you can think, you get steps in and it’s more comfortable to me than waiting three elevators and getting angry about your own politeness. That might just be me though!
Maybe you are having a tough day at work. You might as well get comfortable and I don’t mean lazy or slacking off, changing it and work your way out of it. Working your way out of it like you would when being pinned down by a stronger/heavier opponent and get stronger/wiser/more knowledgeable. Maybe just by learning a thing or two.
I still remember how the situation in Munich turned around. I moved, I planned to get back to Shanghai, I was super uncomfortable but I was in a position to change that. Soon after I got a job offer, a visa and booked a ticket back to China. I had not much, but I felt great. It was not a cozy situation sharing a room (yes, a room – in a bunkbed) and having plan C when the account balance drops to a one-way-ticket-back-to-Germany was the spikes on the bottom of the pit that I choose to climb. It went only up from there in the grand theme of things.
So here is an article with just one link. An article that I write with ‘Explosions in the Sky’ in the background (that is a post-rock band), after a cold shower, mid-movember in an apartment that my girlfriend and I made comfortable, because we can. One article with something that means a lot to me.
Today I could probably get out from under this dude, maybe because I am heavier, maybe because I am fitter, maybe because I got a little bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable.