In today’s world, we come up with activities to mimic our ancestral struggles. As humans, we’ve evolved to leverage tools and technology to answer the call of inconveniences.
Instead of running from bears, we go for a jog or a luxuriously paved hike.
Instead of hunting for food, we go to the grocery store.
Instead of sitting around a campfire talking story, we play around on social media.
Instead of starving for three days because our snares all came up empty and we’re in the middle of a famine, we fast intermittently.
It’s kind of eye opening to realize how lucky we are. Of the billions of lives that came before us, the fact that you are here, reading this post on a website I created really puts into perspective how different life could have been for any one of us.
We lucky as hell.
There’s this idea that I heard on a podcast the other day (Tim Ferris) that I can’t block from my mind. It was given the term volunteered hardship. It’s the idea of taking on tasks or setting goals that will deliberately make you uncomfortable.
It’s riding your bike to the grocery store instead of driving.
It’s running a race….Who actually wants to run a 100 miler? The crazy ones. But maybe if it meant that was the only way food would be on the table, you could suck it up?
Or deciding to try a new diet in order to maintain control of your previously lavish overindulgences. You are willingly leaving the comfort of a world full of processed food, convenience and fatigue.
These volunteered actions in improving yourself create a ton of stress, when you decide to take charge of your life.
But they are a choice.
You decided today to wake up and put your best foot forward. You decided to toss the rest of your candy away. You decided to go for a walk to clear your head and escape the localized anxiety we are ALL feeling. And you deserve to to smile about it.
These things that keep us healthy are not mandatory. They are a choice. And when someone tells me they hate exercise, a piece of me agrees. It kind of sucks. It’s tough and difficult. There are 821 million people on this planet who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and you sit over here complaining that I asked you to eat 2 servings of vegetables today? Give me a break.
As far as this post goes, I’m not sure what I want to accomplish. But I know that for me, I am so happy to accept this world I live in. I am happy to put in the work of my own volition, at my own risk. I feel happy at the fact that I can CHOOSE to limit my food choices to mostly foods that make me feel great. 5,000 years ago, I’d have been bear meat.
I am happy that I have the choice to challenge myself to a long run while not being worried about being able to feed my family.
So yeah, volunteered hardship to me is something special. It’s exercise to get stronger and feel good. It’s why I run. It keeps me uncomfortable and forces me to change. At the same time, it gives me satisfaction. Becoming relatively competent in a previously derpy movement. Feeling good after a workout.
My choice in hardship is exercise and eating a little healthier. In not saying YES to every single impulse in my body.
What other forms of hardship are there? What struggles do you take on willingly? Would love to hear your own struggles and ways you overcome them! Drop a comment or email me at email@example.com.
I love hearing from you, Peace like geese