The path to inner peace is laid in bricks firmly fastened by voluntary discomfort. Start building.
The coddling of the western mind has snowballed into our society's largest obstacle. Ethics, morality and integrity have been stowed away like a transient in a railcar.
The grit that solidified our nation's prowess has been substituted for cheap thrills, quick fixes and shallow desires.
Convenience and excess has created a paradigm for the modern American. A paradigm in which capable yet unmotivated people feel entitled to....well entitlement.
In recent years I've noticed the frenzied response a lot of young people have in the face of minor discomfort. And I see the contagion spreading with little signs of slowing.
Although this mind virus is ubiquitous, it doesn't have to infect you. Building mental and physical barriers to prevent it is entirely up to you. And when done consistently, those barriers can keep the foot soldiers of mediocrity outside of your castles gate.
The most vital thing a man can do to progress is seek DISCOMFORT.
That's right. Voluntarily putting yourself into positions you're not comfortable in can turn a lump of coal into a gem.
Pressure makes diamonds, and a constant pursuit of difficult tasks will force a man to thrive in the harshest situations. The blade that is sharpened by choice will always be wielded more swiftly than the one that is not.
There are a multitude of ways to seek this voluntary discomfort. Rigorous exercise, studying concepts outside of your wheelhouse and learning new skills are all awesome options.
Those are things I've used to develop my body and mind in the recent years. Although I'm fairly satisfied with how I've progressed, I needed a new fire to forge my steel. Literally.
As I write this blog, I'm traveling back from Nogales, Arizona. Where I just completed my first assignment as a Wildland Firefighter.
21 days straight of 14+ hour shifts in the Arizona high desert heat. Where the climate and terrain are so rugged that even the cacti die.
Our final day was a grueling 28 hour shift. We responded to a small fire near the Mexico border caused by a "campfire".
As we hiked through the burn during the hottest part of the day it was evident why it started. Abandoned Coyote camps were strung about through the ridges and draws. Coyotes will often light forest fires to use for cover while smuggling migrants across the border.
The terrain in this area is extremely difficult to navigate. The thought that young women and children even attempt to traverse it is very impressive.
After working like a demon to contain our area, we sat through the night checking for hot spots and areas of concern. Snagging a few minutes of less than restful sleep when possible.
I won't even hold ya'll. It was hard, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't ask myself "why the f#@% am I doing this?" But I'd also be lying if I said I didn't love every God damn minute of it.
As I lay down for a bit and stared at the beautiful night sky I remembered why I decided to pursue this obstacle. Complacency gives mediocrity a shot at breaching those gates around your castle.
I'll keep it a buck. I'm a recovering drug addict. When I'm not challenging myself aggressively, I'm seeding the grounds for my own demise. That's why I eagerly search for discomfort, and become comfortable in it.
Whether or not you decide to pursue voluntary discomfort to improve your durability is on you. Just know that there are young women and children risking life and limb while being exploited by coyotes. Pursuing just a slice of opportunity that alot of Americans have done nothing to deserve.