Friday, April 8, 2011

i-TFTD #313: Make Discomfort Your Friend

#313-1. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
-Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and thinker (1875-1961)

#313-2. In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.
-John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908-2006)

#313-3. Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation.
-Susan B. Anthony, reformer and suffragist (1820-1906)

Modern psychologists explain many characteristics of the human brain in terms of evolution. Nature is the ultimate designer that drives the basic survival instinct through efficiency and shortcuts. Our constant attempts to achieve a feeling of comfort could be seen as an outcome of this. Of course we intelligent beings know that long-term sustained comfort is often achieved at the cost of temporary discomfort but our day-to-day actions do not align with this wisdom. Deliberately seeking discomfort is a habit highly successful individuals seem to cultivate. A lot of creativity also emerges with such an attitude of stepping beyond the familiarity zone. Even the irritability caused by another person can be usefully deployed to derive learning value in terms of improving self-awareness.

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