The Youniverse

I know the video and audio quality is pretty bad, but I promised myself that I would post this video about growth and discomfort. 

I think I will supplement my posts (or at least some of them) with videos, to develop myself into being a more open and extroverted person. 

So this post is about growth and discomfort. Here is what I had written down and what inspired the video:

The only reason I slowed my growth or stopped it altogether is because of my unwillingness to be uncomfortable.

It’s kind of ironic though, because staying in my comfort zone started becoming uncomfortable, and I started to want to grow to be comfortable! So I started to want to be comfortable with truly being uncomfortable, but I refused to do so and I remained the same. In my case, the discomfort of being in my comfort zone was a little less uncomfortable than the uncomfortableness of growing, so I stuck with being the same. I was uncomfortable nonetheless, but it was a vaguely miserable discomfort, rather than the vivid discomfort of making changes and growing.

I now yearn for the joyful uncomfortableness that comes with all types of movement and growth. I see now that life really does begin at the end of our comfort zones. I love the discomfort of not knowing things, and the thrill of learning that comes with it. I love the discomfort of being a novice at so many things, and the thrill of becoming better at them that comes with it. I love the discomfort of choosing to be happy when I have been used to being unhappy, because it is a sign that I’m growing in the way I prefer. I love the discomfort of trying out new ideas and perspectives, because through them I feel expanded.

All growth and all change requires an acceptance of discomfort. Even the most positive change requires it. It can be very uncomfortable for a miserable person to let go of that misery and try to be joyful. It can be extremely uncomfortable to be loving when we’re so attached to being hateful. So the idea is not to let discomfort stop you from making the choices you prefer. Welcome it and be joyful for it.

I want to add a bit to this because I’ve had a few more interesting thoughts since I wrote that and made the video. 

I find that being in my comfort zone put a lot of things on automatic. All my thoughts, words and actions were automatically happening. My interactions with others were similar in theme, even if the conversations themselves were different. I was simply being who I thought I was, and the world was what it was. It was all automatically happening and while I was miserable with the way I was and the way the world was I didn’t think I could do anything about it. Actually, it was probably more that it was too uncomfortable to do anything about it. So I stayed in my miserable comfort zone for quite a while. 

Now that I am moving out of it though, I can see that I was choosing to remain in the comfort zone by protecting myself from discomfort. This included the discomfort of choosing to be who I wanted to be. It is extremely challenging and uncomfortable to constantly choose how I want to respond to life and to choose to be who I wish to be rather than simply automatically being who I thought I was. It is extremely challenging to perceive life in the way I choose to rather than simply automatically looking at it through my old disempowered perspective. Yet it is also so enjoyable to choose to create myself rather than being a kind of robot, running on automatic ideas. It is so enjoyable to create my experience of life rather than allowing myself to automatically experience it. It is this joy that keeps me moving through the discomfort I am now experiencing.

There have been so many attempts from my ego to stop this progress and to keep me comfortable. (By the way, I have no doubt that meditation has helped me see these attempts more clearly. So I definitely believe meditation is very useful in any self transformation.) In my case, the ego would belittle my ability to change in any meaningful way. “What good would that do?” I would think just as I was going to consciously shake things up in my routine and move in the direction I prefer. “The world is still going to shit,” is another thought, trying to get me to stay the same. Basically, it all has to do with playing up the permanency of my current state in order to keep me there. There were many more negative thoughts, and there still are, but I am seeing them and I let them pass through me and I keep moving towards my goal. I celebrate every little progress, because I want to play up the feeling of progress and of change. People may think it’s no big deal to be open with somebody or to connect with a person by having a conversation, but then they haven’t been me and don’t know the challenge that simple conversation represents. If I let them belittle my progress I will never get where I want to go. 

So while I have not reached my goal, and while I may never reach it, I don’t care right now. I want to progress regardless. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and I want to grow. There is a part of me that knows when I get the ball of self-development truly moving with actions rather than thoughts alone, I will change quite dramatically. As I’ve written in another post, it’s just a matter of commitment and determination. 

As a side effect of my own self-development, I now empathize with people who are on their own path. I empathize with people who are overweight and who are making small steps to become healthy, for example. Or people who are depressed and are making small steps to become happy. My message is it may seem hopeless, but it isn’t. Keep making incremental changes. Don’t allow the ego to belittle your ability to change. Keep going. You will get there. 

Commit to What Matters to You

If you love something and it brings you joy, then it matters to you. If it matters to you, you should commit yourself to it.

Don’t ever get discouraged because you aren’t very good at it at first and it turns out to be a difficult challenge. If you stay committed to it, it will get easier. You will get better at it. And you will thank yourself for having the courage and determination to commit to your dreams.

If you do get discouraged and settle for something that doesn’t really matter to you, you will feel “off”. You will have lost the feeling of joyful growth and you will be out of it and just going through the motions in Life.

Through your commitment to what matters to you, what matters to you will grow. Everything you do now; every one of your accomplishments and the skills you’ve developed, grew because of your commitment to them.

For me, I can remember how much of a challenge it was to get used to being in a committed relationship. For the first time, I was in an intimate partnership where secrets could not be kept without harming the partnership. I had to learn to communicate openly so that no resentment built. I learned that by first experiencing resentment and realizing what caused it. I experienced all the things that can put relationships at risk of collapsing. Not once did I think of giving up though, and neither did my wife. We were committed because we mattered to one another. I am happy to say we still matter to one another, because we see that challenges in the relationship are temporary if we work at them together. We look back now, after being together for seven years and are shocked at how much we’ve grown in our relationship. It is a source of pride for both of us.

I look to that determination and commitment as inspiration for the rest of my life. I also look to the times I learned to drive a car, ride a bike, beat a video game, graduate from school, or any other challenge. I accomplished them by committing to them, and my commitment didn’t feel like work, because each of my challenges mattered to me. Of course, there have been challenges that I chose to drop because they didn’t matter. Those felt like work and struggle.

So I now look at what I want to improve in my own life, spiritually, physically, and mentally, with renewed optimism. Last night, I made a list of things i want to commit to and the things that will improve for me, because they are one and the same. Remember: what we commit ourselves to will grow. So if we are committed to settling for less than we want, guess what? Our ability to settle will grow and soon we will be perfect settlers!

So it is probably a good idea for each of us to look at our own lives and see what we want to improve, and then choose to commit to the challenges. My list includes: meeting and connecting with more people; getting physically stronger; continuing to learn Spanish; committing to running my business as best as I can and improving my finances; getting better at swimming, snorkeling, and perhaps scuba diving; becoming a better basketball player; being more positively oriented; getting better at writing; being more self-confident and being true to myself; being more free-spirited; being a better husband, brother, son and friend by paying attention to those around me. It is a growing list, which I love, because I think I would be a bit bored without it.

I know that if I commit to my challenges, they will improve for me. I don’t care how much I fail at first because I also know the pain of letting go of things that matter. I will get back up and move towards being who I want to be and I will enjoy the feeling of getting better at all that matters to me. It is a great feeling to grow in the way you prefer to! That feeling sums up my list. I love to improve in things that matter to me, and that is why I will commit to them.

Sometimes it is more beneficial to act in the way you prefer before your mind gets in the way and starts analyzing your actions. In other words, sometimes it’s better to act before you think. This is especially true when making a significant change in your life. For example: say you’re a shy person and want to become more outgoing and confident. If you have already made the decision to be outgoing and confident you may get the urge or inspiration to suddenly say hello to somebody, or start up a conversation. At this point, if you think before you act you may start to anticipate what will happen in the conversation, and since you were previously a shy person, you may anticipate the worst, which will lead you to ignore the inspiration and revert back to being your normal shy self. Instead, it would be more beneficial to start the conversation and feel the change within you. The consequences of the action may surprise you in that they may be completely different than what you used to imagine as a shy person. Even if the conversation goes nowhere, you will have moved out of your comfort zone and grown a little, which is always relatively exciting compared to staying in your comfort zone and staying the same. To put it another way: when making decisions, you can literally think a decision to death, creating no action because you are too afraid to take any step, which then creates stagnation and misery. Many times growth requires you to be out of your mind.

— Sohail Desai

Your sense of self growth, acceleration and expansion is directly related to how easily you can let go of what doesn’t work for you any longer and accepting what does work for you in this moment. Simply put: your growth depends on how much freedom you give yourself to change.

— Sohail Desai

The desire for riches is simply the capacity for larger life seeking fulfillment; every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action. It is power seeking to manifest which causes desire. That which makes you want more money is the same as that which makes the plant grow; it is Life, seeking fuller expression.

— The Science of Getting Rich


There is nothing wrong in wanting to get rich. The desire for riches is really the desire for a richer, fuller, and more abundant life; and that desire is praise worthy. The man who does not desire to live more abundantly is abnormal, and so the man who does not desire to have money enough to buy all he wants is abnormal.

— The Science of Getting Rich