Listen, Learn and Seek Discomfort • Summit and Beyond
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Listen, Learn and Seek Discomfort

Listen, Learn and Seek Discomfort

“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”

– Les Brown

Learning to listen

I watched a film called ‘Waking Life’ where the main character, a young man, finds himself within a dream. His dream takes him from one conversation to another, but the people he meets are some of the most unique thinkers in the world. He learns about everything from spontaneity to the laws of biology. This film opened my mind to the people around me. It helped me to understand that we all live with an individual perception of our environment. I started asking questions and listening, trying to catch a glimpse of the reality other people live.

It became clear, as I listened, that peoples most prominent learning experiences come directly after some form of trauma or failure. As the mind processes our experience, the body adapts and we learn how to react. The more we expose ourselves to the trauma, the easier it is to overcome.

“Seek Discomfort.” – Yes Theory


Why seek discomfort when it finds us anyway?

I have grown to live by and love the idea of ‘seeking discomfort.’ That said, having the choice to create my own challenges also means I have the choice stay in my comfort zone too. The only real way for me to have a chance at succeeding, while living in such a neutral world, is for me to chose a challenge that I am almost certain to fail. Then, the real test is how long can I keep up the hard work until it beats me? do I have what it takes? and if not, can I pick my self back up after failing?

When discomfort is our reality how do we change?

We were out ‘seeking discomfort’ on a 10 peak challenge. We completed nearly 2000 meters of ascent and 14 miles in 10 hours. It was a good achievement, but the thing I enjoyed the most was chatting with Jayne, my challenge buddy for that day. As we talked, the conversation soon took a more in depth focus. We started exploring the challenges people do not choose and considered people who live with health conditions, and people in care. The question that came to the forefront was…

How can we support people living in crisis to see that their present discomfort will become their strength?

The only true answer I can think of is time and training. It takes time for us to heal after a trauma, and it takes training to make positive thoughts the fuel that motivates us.


Time and Training

There is so much information out there today and our young people have access to all of it. How is a young mind supposed to choose which information is productive or destructive? On the other hand, how do we explain to the older generations about the unlimited potential for young people who have access to the internet? When the reality is the majority of young people are engrossed in ‘Love Island’, and the older folk feel naughty for even considering watching 50 shades. A huge gap has evolved between the moral code each generation lives by and the internet is the reason why.

When my Grandma was alive, she used to say

“if I were young again and I had the internet, I would be unstoppable. The potential for success is unreal and I would go for it! we have the world at our fingertips these days”

One similarity between my Grandmas generation, my own and all those to come is the access we have to positive messages. My Grandma read books about amazing people like Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale. I learned about these characters and their stories, then I went and found people who inspire me, like Casey Neistat, Tim Ferris, Les Brown and Gary Vaynerchuck. With the internet we can fill all our spare time with training our minds to learn positive and motivational messages.

I believe this is the future for the next generation, but first we need to accept the tools we have and let go of the destructive stream of information. Say good bye to Jeremy Kyle, love island and Eastenders and move forward to the future where positive role models live.

Until next time

Keep adventuring and stay safe.