How to set your life on fire – get uncomfortable
We all know the story of how a pearl is created. A tiny irritant becomes enters the shell of an oyster and to protect itself the oyster creates a calcium carbonate sac around the irritant and over time a pearl is born. Without the initial discomfort there would be no pearl.
Today everything is about ease, speed and comfort. Millions of gadgets and apps, software and hardware are created to enable us to do things more easily, more quickly, with less effort and quite possibly without even getting off our sofas. I’m not suggesting that these are making us soft, nor indeed that we should bin them all and go out and roast a couple of squirrels over a fire pit whilst our other half sends some urgent messages by carrier pigeon. But there is a lot to be said for organised discomfort.
If all your friends and family agree with you, you are never challenged. If you are never challenged you won’t try to look at something from a different angle. If you are not irritated by something or somebody then you won’t try something new to get them off your back.
In 1853 George Crum, a chef in New York, accidentally invented crisps when one of his guests insisted on repeatedly sending his fries back because he said they were soggy. Crum was so fed up with the customers that he decided to teach him a lesson he sliced the potatoes exceptionally thin, fried them to a complete crisp and covered them in salt. The customer loved them and crisps were born.
If you have great dreams and are passionate about achieving them you need a little irritation to shake you up a little. To make you look at the box from a different perspective. Ah ha moments do not come from the deep, deep calm of the sofa but the hurly burly of organised conflict and disagreement.
Don’t surround yourself with people who agree with all your views. Mix it up a little. Go out of your way to engage with people who work in a completely different way to you. If you are an organised control freak like me share your workspace with somebody like my husband (actually please share your workspace with him then I don’t have to!).
Some of the best teams are made up of people who are so different that the mind boggles when you see them together. There is a highly successful jewellery company in the States called Alex and Ani. It is run by Giovanni Feroce an ex-army officer and Carolyn Rafaelian who is a little less roll call and marching and has had crystals embedded in the walls of their offices to deflect negative energy and had the door handles painted with the Atlantean symbol worn by the archaeologist who led the excavation of King Tut’s tomb. Two more different people would be hard to imagine. But it works.
If you want to start a fire you need a spark. To get a spark you need friction.
Bring a little friction into your life and let the sparks free.