Did you read last weeks blog, It’s a Battle of the Bicep, Not the Belly? It was all about the importance of focusing on gain and not loss. At a certain stage in life we need to focus on gaining muscle and not losing weight. We need to focus on gaining independence and physical strength, and not on losing inches. Trust me, not only is it the right direction for your health, it is way better for your mindset.

Moving on to this week Its another mindset topic related to aging and how to do it well. But it’s harder than the gain vs loss mindset shift I wrote about last week. This one requires you to fight your very DNA.

As animals, one of our most primitive and innate instincts is to seek comfort and to avoid discomfort. It’s what has kept up alive and well all these thousands of years. As I am sure many of you know, this same thing that kept our species alive is now contributing to our very demise.

For example, after the age of 30, 95% of us never sprint again. Never. In this comfortable world we have created, unless you play a sport that requires it, there is simply no need. And the older we get, the more obsessively and aggressively we seek to avoid these types of discomforts. We don’t like to be cold. We don’t like to be hot. We don’t like to be hungry. We don’t like to miss out. We don’t like to lift heavy things. We don’t like to move too fast….

Aging has become the aggressive pursuit of comfort and I’m sorry to break it to you but, the more aggressively we seek comfort the faster we age.

In order to age well you need to be okay with discomfort. And that may mean, dressing up and keeping up your walks even when it is cold outside. It may mean, lifting a heavier weight than you want to. It may mean turning off the tv or putting down the phone and having an actual, uninterrupted conversation. And the beauty of that? It will help you avoid other discomforts. Like lack of independence. Like joint pain. Like diabetes and high blood pressure. Like depression and lack of motivation.

So I encourage you, the next time you don’t want to go for a walk because it isn’t nice out, see if you can find it in yourself to go anyways. Or when you don’t feel like working out, well do it anyways. And the next time you feel hungry in between your meals but you know you have eaten enough…wait it out. Don’t want to risk looking silly by learning to dance, or lift weights or to play a new sport? Sign up and show up anyways.

Many people are so comfortable they’re miserable. There is no reward in comfort, except when you have worked hard to achieve it. Breaking a habit, trying something new, making new connections, taking a risk or putting yourself into a totally new situation isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Calvin Coolidge said, “All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort and effort means work.”

But no pressure. You can either be comfortable and stagnate or stretch yourself, get uncomfortable and grow. Seems like an easy choice when you put it that way right??


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