Bad days? Nah.

 You’ll find what you need where you least want to look.

 

Yep, let that one sink in for a sec. This sequence of words detonated in my skull earlier this week from a source I can’t recall, giving a resounding sense of clarity to an idea I’ve been poking at for some time. The whole idea of comfort zones and personal growth, and committing to voluntary discomfort in the pursuit of self-improvement. That old chestnut.

I just find it such an interesting thing to consider; this evolutionary requirement we humans have for adversity in order to develop, constantly challenged by modern behaviours that mandate us to avoid adversity at all costs. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Wait, is this just nature vs nurture?


You’ll find what you need where you least want to look.

 

Makes sense, but doesn’t make it easier. From day dot in this dimension we’re conditioned to be vulnerable! Lesson one: avoid stress, self-preserve at all costs. Maybe I missed the memo, but I feel like no one explains that self-preservation needs stress. Or so far as my experience has dictated, anyway. Challenge seems absolutely essential for human health, but I don’t know if that’s written down in any of the books it needs to be.

But maybe that wouldn’t have helped young Rols anyway? It’s such a personal pursuit, learning how to deliberately acquaint yourself with your thresholds, where no one can give you feedback but you. I guess as a ratbag kid I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway. Now at 27 though, understanding how and when to apply stress to myself has been the most pivotal learning experience of my life.

So I don’t know specifically when this concept arrived to my consciousness, and I suspect it fermented over a long time before distilling into understanding. How necessary it is to push out of the comfort zone, where life is ‘fine’, but stagnant, and everything has stopped growing. Weirdly I feel both frustrated at how long it took me to realise this, but also eternally lucky to have realised it at all, because perhaps some never do? Universally common denominators aren’t distributed all that frequently after all, and simplicity is a flawless disguise.

 

You’ll find what you need where you least want to look.

 

If it’s that easy, why have I been thinking about it for so long? And how come I still can’t do it all the time? I’m constantly amused by my ability to contradict myself, but in a world of iphones and factory food sometimes it feels like failure is inevitable. However despite my occasional inability to have faith during the struggle - whatever the struggle might be at that minute - it’s equally helpful to remember in hindsight.

You see, for me what’s even more powerful than the ability to self-impose discomfort and deliberately endure something unpleasant is this philosophy’s use as wound remedy. Beyond empowerment, understanding stress as an essential part of life reconciles pain in a most beautifully circular way that makes me grin from ear to ear. Looking where you least want to, knowing it will always yield a reward; means every negative will become a positive, right? So appreciating our worst experiences as our best lessons... does a “bad day” even exist?