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Fear Comfort: Comfort As The Enemy Of Improvement

Updated on April 26, 2017
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Stephan has a passion for understanding the nature of both the physical world and especially its complex inhabitants, that is, humans.

War of Comfort and Survival

Nature seems to be in a constant struggle with itself. More specifically, the nature in each organism is in a battle with the nature in another. This battle had begun the second the sun began shining and perhaps even before this. This clash is one for survival. The age old philosophy goes "The strong will survive". Bearing this in mind, it seems a great irony that all organisms search for comfort, while at the same time this comfort seems to work against their natural biological functioning, and may actually decrease their chances to survival. Our nature, our DNA, the nature instincts, our genealogy, which even way you may refer to it always seems to be search of some easier way to exist. It does may sense that the more energy an organism can save, the better the chances to survival. However, there comes at a certain point at a certain degree of easy living after which anymore comfort actually causes harm to the organism. The development of diseases from overeating, the loss of mobility from static living and atrophy of muscles and bones among other thing can result from a life that is too easier. All the happiness pursued through comforts can only exist to a particular degree after which comfort begins to threaten survival.

How To Survive

The world is a constantly changing environment and one must always be ready to take full advantage of any opportunities that may present themselves, as well as be fully prepared to deal with any problems or threats that may come about. That is to say really that one must always be looking to improve. Sometimes we fail, but we must never make the same mistake twice. Survival is reserved for the cunning, hard-workers and the ever-ready. This rule applies in all facets of life. The problem is that organisms also seek comfort and happiness, and these things directly work against survival and improvement.

It is strange too that even one can become comfortable in an uncomfortable position. This phenomenon, called learned helplessness, is evidenced by research done at the University of Pennsylvania by American psychologist Martin Seligman. As part of an experiment a group of dogs were placed in harnesses received electric shocks repeatedly. Even when the dogs were given the ability to escape the shocks, which they would not do previously, the dogs would remain passive and accept the shocks. It is clear that this comfort, that is obtained even in a non-pleasurable situation, directly impacts on survival and health.

Why Comfort Will Ruin Your Life

Comfort Versus Improvement

We must understand that while, to an extent happiness and comfort is good, too much of it is not. Comfort means that you are happy where you are, that your current position in life is good, that you do not need to move from this place. You are relaxed. There is no constant push to search for something better, no vigilance that you may lose your position and no urgency to anything. This is how you become static and stagnant and forget where you are. You forget where you were going, where you came from and how far you have to all. Essentially comfort puts everything at risk. All of this is the very opposite of improvement. Improvement is all about the urgency and vigilance and strive for something more. It is true, while improvement may not necessarily bring happiness, it may not be comfortable, but it can mean survival and it means betterment. It means climbing the ladder of life and seeing what lies on each level, good or bad. It means experiencing life, ensuring survival and possibly fulfillment.


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