Talking with a friend yesterday and he made the comment, “Comfort is the kiss of death.

While this might overstate the point a bit too much for my tastes, it underscores an important point — in ANYTHING we want to improve.

When we are comfortable:

  • we don’t feel any great need
  • we stop noticing things around us
  • we stop concentrating on the little things
  • we loosen up, and often say things we shouldn’t

There are certainly good things about comfort:

  • the situation doesn’t add stress
  • we are able to focus on other things
  • we can make others around us comfortable

But comfort cannot be our goal. Today’s paper compares two runners.

One had all the comforts of suburban America. When faced with the greatest pain in her life on the greatest stage of her life, she mentally returned to the place where she was comfortable. It allowed her to press on and finish third — in the WORLD. Had she wanted to stay just comfortable, she never would have put herself in the position to hurt — and win.

The other trained in wartorn Iraq. Nothing about her training was easy. Bribing guards just to have a place to train is hardly comfortable. But that just drove her to focus on the ultimate dream.

In both cases, if the athlete sought only for comfort they would have fallen well-short of their goal.

The same is so true for speakers. I am faced all the time with presenters whose goal is apparently to be comfortable. They are only keeping themselves from achieving great things.

Don’t let comfort be your goal.

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