Continual State of Discomfort

We are always in a state of discomfort. Humans are problem seekers, we are biologically wired to find problems and threats. And this pressure is what kept us alive for centuries. However, in our modern day society, these problems and threats are different because they’re not life threatening. I call this our Continual State of Discomfort.

“The grass is always greener on the other side” -Every human being ever

My parents are extremely hard working, growing up they worked multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Money was scarce, so most of our problems were revolved around money. At that time, they believed a good education, a good job, and a good salary would bring happiness. You bet damn sure they tried to instill that in us as at a young age. Study hard, work hard, get a good job, and you will be happy they said.

But the human mind is tricky. It will continually find new ways to return you to a state of discomfort. Take money for example.

  1. You grow up poor, and most problems are related to money
  2. As you enter the middle class, most problems become related to career, family, and vices
  3. As you enter the upper class, most problems become related to status, validation, and time

Obviously this is a generalization and just my opinion, but I think you can see the point. When you’re poor, you’re uncomfortable due to lack of resources and materials. Once you have enough money to be comfortable, your mind adapts to your new reality and finds other issues to complain about. If you think about it, this is kind of like nature’s archaic way for us to set new goals in order to survive.

This is why so many lotto winners become unhappy. They truly believed that if they only had millions of dollars then can they be problem-free and happy. Conversely the opposite became true, their sole perceived problem in life was solved, but newer problems emerged and they could not cope with their new reality.

Once you reach these supposed happiness milestones, it feels nice but it’s like a temporary pleasure hit. It’s nice for the moment, but it can’t sustain you forever.

This doesn’t only revolve around money, but anything really. Finding faults in others, judging others, or complaining about petty things. Unhappy about the weather, the food, or your workplace. Understanding this concept will help you realize when you’re problem seeking. Once you understand what your brain is doing, you can react appropriately.

So stop complaining, but take one of two choices instead:

  1. Express gratitude and appreciation for what you do have. I’m guilty of this and I need to do a better job at reminding myself. Part of the reason why I enjoy traveling is that it gives me perspective on how fortunate I am.
  2. Change your circumstances by taking action to change it. Don’t like the cold? Move. If you can’t appreciate it, try your hardest to change it (so you have no reason to complain). Be solutions oriented.
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