Dabbling with discomfort
Maximizing pleasure doesn’t need practice. It’s hardwired into our system.
Tolerating pain, however, is a different ball game. Notice how I swapped maximizing with tolerating. Maximizing pain fits squarely in the realm of the suicidal and masochist.. and to be strictly avoided.
An oft quoted ultra runner’s quote goes like this “not all pain is significant.”
So one man’s easy peasy is another man’s significant pain?
Not really. There are sooo many experiments that don’t generate significant pain yet are challenging enough to remind us how comfort enslaved we’ve become (I classify stimulations and distractions under comforts).
Here are a few experiments that you can safely attempt and expect a high degree of success:
- Hit the stairs regularly instead of the elevator (unless of course your office is in the Burj Khalifa or Sears Tower)
- Keep your car stereo permanently in switched off mode. Bonus points if your daily commute is longer than 20 minutes. Double bonus points if you don’t unlock your smartphone at every traffic signal.
- Don’t switch on the fan at home.. until the first few beads of perspiration appear. (I understand that this may happen in minutes in certain Indian cities)
- Restrict yourself to a maximum of 5 tabs on your web browser
- Fast once a month