The One Big Thing
Do one thing every day that makes you uncomfortable.
That last sentence sums up this entire article and you could even stop reading this post right now. You’d miss out on some other good stuff but if you’re pressed for time, then just be sure to get uncomfortable every day. It’s good for you.
If you’re anything like me, you get a little lazy from time to time. Maybe I should say comfortable instead of lazy. Nah, better yet, let’s say lazy and comfortable. I’m not talking about chilling on the sofa watching the latest episode of Game Of Thrones. Really hope those dragons get their appetites back. I’m talking about the kind of lazy and comfortable that keeps you from growing as a person.
When we get too comfortable with what’s going on around us we can fall into the habit of just going through the motions in our everyday lives. Do that long enough and one day you’ll wake up and realize that life has passed you by.
“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”Ferris Bueller
Something I’ve tried to stick with for the past few years is to focus on The One Big Thing. Basically, just do one thing every single day that forces you out of your comfort zone.
That’s it. Just one that one single thing. Sounds super simple but in the beginning it can be tough to keep this going on a daily basis.
I call it The One Big Thing because in your mind it’ll feel like a big thing to you before you do it. The cool thing is that after you do it, it’ll start becoming less of a big deal to you anymore. Keep doing this and, over time, you’ll find that things that were REALLY uncomfortable to you have become very comfortable to you.
If you want to expand your comfort zone and really enjoy life, there will be a bit of “uncomfortableness” that you’ll have to first deal with. The better you can learn to embrace being uncomfortable, the better your life is gonna be.
Let me give you a personal example.
I used to get VERY nervous getting in front of the camera and creating tutorials for my company GMB Fitness. It was brutal and those first vids during the early days of GMB were pretty damn bad. Hahaha. The important thing is, I focused on The One Big Thing each day and ate that elephant one bite at a time. Well, one video at a time.
Being uncomfortable in the beginning stages helped grow GMB Fitness and allowed me to do things that I never dreamed I’d be doing.
I practiced getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and it’s safe to say that I’m more than comfortable being in front of the camera now. In fact, dare I say it, I kinda enjoy it now. 🙂
Wait a minute, Ryan. You’re more than comfortable now with shooting vids? Didn’t you say NOT to get comfortable? Yes, I did! As that comfort grows I continue to poke and prod myself to find new ways to make my videos better by moving outside of my comfort zone. Trying out new lighting, new moves, shooting in different locale, and trying out new delivery methods.
Doing something uncomfortable on a daily basis might sound exhausting but I’m not asking you to do this ALL the time with everything you do! Just choose The One Big Thing for the day and go from there.
Note: This is different than focusing on the main priority(ies) for the day. While I also do that, I’m referring more in line with doing something that you are uncomfortable with each day that might not, or might, have to do with your work.
Let’s get uncomfortable.
Intermittent fasting is a protocol that I’ve used off and on over the years. For those of you who don’t know what this is, basically, you fast for 16 hours and then have an eating window of 8 hours. For example, your first meal is at noon and your last meal is finished by 8PM. There are numerous reasons I like this eating protocol and the only time I stop using it from time to time is during the winter. I get so damn cold in the mornings before my first meal! Well, this year I decided that I needed to embrace being uncomfortable and from January started back on the IF protocol. This time around I’m using the 18:6 protocol in which you fast for 18 hours and have a 6 hour eating window. There are some other details regarding what food I eat and how much but that’s not the important thing for this article. Check the link above for tons of details.
With intermittent fasting, every single day I’m uncomfortable until it’s time for my first meal. You see, I also do my exercise sessions, including my heavy and high intensity sessions, before my first meal. That can be a double punch but that uncomfortableness has been worth it. I’ve gained more muscle and lost body fat in the past couple of months. Plus, I also feel a whole lot better.
Along with my daily One Big Thing, I also have a weekly One Big Thing that has been based around my IF protocol. Typically it involves going for a LONG-ASS hike in a fasted state. Last week’s hike was a big one and I did it fasted. Check out this last slide of my Instagram post to see just how long of a hike it was.
It was NOT easy. The first hour or so I was fine but after the steep climbs that kept going and going, I started to hit the wall and drag. I told myself that I would be fine and that it was just in my head. That did the trick and you know what, I was VERY uncomfortable but I made it. That cheeseburger at the end of the trail was freaking delicious by the way.
Once a month I also include another One Big Thing. I try to have this revolve around movement of some sort where I tax myself over an extended period of time or else do something that, while safe, really takes me out of my physical comfort zone. 4 hour open-mat BJJ session rolling with as many higher belts as possible or a full-day shopping at the mall with my wife and daughter… How is it that I can do BJJ for 4 hours straight but shopping kills me? Still trying to get comfortable with that and honestly, I don’t think I ever will.
All joking aside, there are plenty of The One Big Thing monthly activities to choose from. The important thing is to make it a little big more difficult than your weekly and daily One Big Thing.
With that being said, I do suggest in the beginning to first focus on something that you can do every single day. It doesn’t have to be extreme and in fact make it simple for you to do! Just find something that you aren’t comfortable with that you know will help you in your life.
Once you get into the habit of doing The One Big Thing each day you can add something a little bigger once a week. Then eventually do the same with something even bigger once a month.
Start small and stick with. Learning to handle being uncomfortable can make life a whole lot more comfortable down the road.