Courage or Comfort?

By Scott Westerman
“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both!” ~Brene Brown

We live in a culture that values making things easier, not harder, trying to eliminate risk and discomfort. And yet, everyone who has done something amazing with their lives has paid the price. No great achievements are easy.

This is one of many lessons reaffirmed to me by Jillian Johnsrud in her fascinating conversation with Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa in episode 84 of the ChooseFI Podcast.

Life is challenging. The road is littered with rejection, failure and setbacks. There is just as much inconvenience associated with letting life happen as there is with making life happen. The trick is learning to feel the fear and do what you need to do anyway. This is the ultimate definition of courage.

The ability to deal with things that go wrong and keep moving forward is the essence of resilience.

None of the good things we put into the world are wasted, even if the ending isn’t what we had hoped for. Those who thrive have clear definitions of their desired outcomes and the ability to keep pushing toward them.

So what do we really want to do with our lives? How do we structure our days so that they are meaningful, fulfilling, enjoyable and challenging? Jillian shares this conversation starter that can help you answer these questions. It begins with this:

If tomorrow was totally up to us, what would it look like?

Few people ever seriously consider their answers to the fundamental questions about what is truly important to them. Even fewer use their answers as a filter through which all their priorities and actions flow.

That’s because the exercise is not comfortable and requires courage.

What direction is your goal seeking subconscious mind ballistically guiding you toward: comfort or courage? One of the greatest lessons we can learn is that we are driving the bus and the choice is ours.

As Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Choose courage.