Manage episode 347881299 series 2756263
Our world has never been more convenient and comfortable. With just a few taps of our fingers, we can order food to our door, access endless entertainment options, and keep our climate at a steady 72 degrees. We don't have to put in much effort, much less face any risk or challenge, in order to sustain our daily lives.
In some ways, this quantum leap in humanity's comfort level is a great boon. But in other ways, it's absolutely killing our minds, bodies, and spirit.
My guest says it's time to reclaim the currently-hard-to-come-by but truly essential benefits of discomfort. His name is Michael Easter, and he's a writer, editor, and professor, and the author of The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self. Michael first shares how his experience with getting sober helped him discover the life-changing potential of doing hard things, before digging into what fleeing from discomfort is doing to our mental and physical health. We then discuss the Japanese idea of misogis, which involves taking on an epic outdoor challenge, and why Michael decided to do a misogi in which he participated in a month-long caribou hunt in the backcountry of Alaska. Michael shares what he learned from the various challenges he encountered during his misogi — including intense hunger, boredom, solitude, and physical exertion — as well as what research can teach all of us about why we need to incorporate these same kinds of discomforts into our everyday lives.
Resources Related to the Episode
- Related AoM Articles:
- A Few Lessons From Beating the Bottle
- How I Learned to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
- Shadow Work and the Rise of Middle-Class Serfdom
- How the Hero's Journey Can Help You Become a Better Man
- Be a Time Wizard: How to Speed Up and Slow Down Time
- Take the One-Month "Do Something New Every Day" Challenge
- Lessons on Solitude From an Antarctic Explorer
- Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline
- Don't Just Lift Heavy, Carry Heavy
- Cardio for the Man Who Hates Cardio
- Related AoM Podcasts:
- Are Modern People the Most Exhausted in History?
- Why Are We Restless?
- Wish You Had More Time? What You Really Want Is More Memories
- The Psychology of Boredom
- Weird and Wonderful Ways to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
- What You Can (Really) Learn About Exercise From Your Human Ancestors
- Building Better Citizens Through Rucking
Connect With Michael Easter