Celebrating challenge

Image: Nitish Meena

I love comfort. A lot.

One of my favorite things is the Danish cultural concept of hygge (learn more about it here). I try to replicate this warm, comfy vibe in my personal relations, leisure time, and home life.

But there’s something else I realize…

Challenge is what we really live for — not comfort.

Whenever I talk to friends and tell stories — the BEST ones are the ones about overcoming something. Like when my wife and I lived in Chicago and we didn’t have any money to pay rent. The next day, someone sideswiped our car that was parked on the street and took off. As shitty as it was, thanks to the insurance money, we were able to pay rent (although we had to drive around with a dented car the rest of its life).

People work in shitty jobs all their young lives so they can retire ASAP and, do what — be comfortable. To sip martinis all day and watch football all weekend.

I just have a sneaking suspicion that — on their death bed — they won’t be telling their grandkids stories about how amazing it’s been to wake up every morning, play golf, then veg out in front of the TV for hours before going to bed and doing it again the next day.

No — their stories are going to be about the time they were barely getting by living in a studio apartment with bare cupboards and that faulty radiator that hissed, banged and leaked through the night.

Why — because they overcame it. It was a necessary part of the story — the challenge, the struggle, the battle.

The fun of life is in the challenge, not the comfort.

Comfort is a nice (I’d even say necessary) escape from the human struggle. It makes for good balance. But a certain lively part of us wants to get back in the ring ASAP.

Kids don’t ever tell stories about sitting and watching TV. No, they’re stoked about telling you how they jumped off of this thing and that thing and how they crashed their bike and bruised their knee here, here, and here.

I know, when you’re in the thick of it, this doesn’t seem to be the case. You really want to be sipping that martini on your porch.

But this is what the human drama yearns for — the challenge.

I hope this helps you have more fun with it. It’s not forever. It will go away.

So, whattdya say? Tell me a story…


My name is Jonas (like the Weezer song). I’m a transformative coach who writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox daily, click here.

If you enjoyed this piece, proclaim your love to the world by recommending it below. Thanks!