“To enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more.” -Melville
Wow… A good English friend of mine sent me this Herman Melville quote from Moby Dick that was highlighted in a BrainPickings.Com article titled “The Value Of Being Uncomfortable” by Maria Popova.
The article started out with this other gem from artist Georgia O’Keefe whose work revolutionized art during the First World War…
“Anyone with any degree of mental toughness ought to be able to exist
without the things they like most for a few months at least.”
In between the Melville and O’Keefe quotes was possibly the most comprehensive analysis by Popova herself that seems incredibly applicable to today’s world and present situation…
“There are echoes of Stoicism, of Buddhism, of every monastic tradition in O’Keeffe’s core insight — that only in the absence of our habitual comforts, without all the ways in which we ordinarily cushion against the hard facts of our own nature and our mortality, do we befriend ourselves and discover what is most alive in us. The contrast, uncomfortable at first, even painful, becomes a clarifying force. Without the superfluous, the essential is revealed.”
Not sure if I’ve ever used 3 quotes in one Daily Hustle but also not sure I’ve come across 3 quotes this relevant and this powerful in regards to our constant Daily Hustle preaching of becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.
I get it, most of you probably thought I was just some mechanistic sicko that enjoys suffering, and with this recent 20 plus mile/day quarantine treadmill sessions, I was actually starting to question that myself.
Sure, the pain does hurt a bit, but it is also a constant reminder that we are still ALIVE…
As Melville said, without cold there is no comfort of warmth, and as Popova declared, it’s only when we are without the comforts and luxuries in life do we “befriend ourselves and discover what is most alive in us.”
This is a difficult and unprecedented period for all of us but none of it is new to the world… For thousands of years generations have been struck by plagues, wars and natural disasters that have put people in incredibly uncomfortable and vulnerable positions. It’s during these times that we are challenged to contemplate the core meaning of our existence and ultimately figure out what is important to us and what truly really matters…
I guess there is actually UNCOMFORTABLE VALUE after all. 🤷♂️
P.S. The Let Them Play: A Triathlon Across America documentary is finally here, and it’s the perfect film for a family movie night! Proceeds will not only benefit the Let Them Play foundation, but $1 from each sale goes directly to the COVID-19 Response Fund.
Visit LetThemPlayFilm.com or click the button below to watch now! 📽🍿