Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comf ortable most of the time. You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to seek reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.
If the men of the Middle Ages... lived in filth and discomfort, it was not for any lack of ability to change their mode of life; it was because they chose to live this way, because filth and discomfort fitted in with their principles and prejudices, political, moral, and religious.... It was in the power of medieval... craftsmen to create armchairs and sofas that might have rivaled in comfort those of today
What people really want is not to make something funny, but to make something amusing - which, in many ways, is the opposite of funny. To amuse someone is to eliminate discomfort and awkwardness, kind of like a massage for the brain, while to be funny is to point out awkwardness and discomfort. Everyone thinks they want funny, but they really want amusement.
As long as we're caught up in always looking for certainty and happiness, rather than honoring the taste and smell and quality of exactly what is happening, as long as we're always running from discomfort, we're going to be caught in a cycle of unhappiness and discomfort, and we will feel weaker and weaker. This way of seeing helps us develop inner strength. And what's especially encouraging is the view that inner strength is available to us at just the moment when we think that we've hit the bottom, when things are at their worst.
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