Author Topic: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!  (Read 19689 times)

theREALpanchovilla

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Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« on: July 08, 2015, 08:54:51 PM »
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
!Viva el bigote!

Hall11235

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 07:30:34 AM »
With Regards to heat acclimatization, I have found a strategy that works for me every year. I have to drive as part of my job, and we get some hot, sticky summers here in Mass. I refuse to use the AC in the car and keep the windows rolled all the way up, so that my car gets to be inhumanely hot. After sitting in there for an hour, it feels downright cold when I get out, regardless of the heat outside. This has also helped a ton with regards to the AC in my room. It really sucks for about a week, and then it seems that the heat really doesn't bother me. It has also helped a lot in reducing how much I whine about the heat.
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teadirt

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 01:54:42 PM »
Last fall I took a road trip with my SO from where we live in Montana to Seattle and down the coast to the Redwoods. We decided to bring a tent, a cooler, and a 2-burner Coleman stove. I'm guessing most people on vacation wouldn't want to bother with setting up a tent every night or cooking their own food on a primitive camp stove, but that mild discomfort made our trip just so much better. And we spent FAR less on the trip overall.

One morning specifically comes to mind. We ended up sleeping in the car about 10 yards from the ocean (and about 100 yards from an long row of $500/night beach houses). We woke up with the sun and made tea and scrambled eggs on the hood of my car. So for a grand total of about $2, we had accommodation for the night, no 'checkout time' to worry about, no hauling luggage around a hotel, a delicious healthy meal, beautiful scenery, the smell of cool, fresh sea air, both of us smiling ear to ear...

With all that distraction, it was hard to think about the "discomfort" of sleeping in the car just before :)
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Roots&Wings

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 06:53:15 AM »
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

I love this line!

Ok, one other contribution: cold Navy showers on occasion. Super uncomfortable for me, yet so enjoyable that I can do it!

Like others have mentioned, practicing voluntary discomfort expands your comfort zone, helps you appreciate the good stuff when you have it and avoid becoming a complainypants when shit happens.

trailrated

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 09:30:36 AM »
I am a manager up in the office at a concrete company. We have a reclaimer system for the water that cleans out the concrete barrels on the mixer trucks. Someone dumped in about 12,000lbs of concrete into it on accident and broke it.

With 95 degree heat it would have been easy to tell the other workers that I manage to jump in the pit and start shoveling while I sat in the air conditioned office twiddling my thumbs. Instead I grabbed some coveralls and jumped in with them. While it wasn't "fun" I felt pleased when it was over and the other workers had a higher level of appreciation seeing that I am willing to do what I ask of them as well.
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mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2015, 09:32:32 AM »
I have had really great experiences with voluntary discomfort improving my life.  Most of the time it just involves exposing myself to more extreme temperatures.  It makes that time in a cool room on a summer day or in front of a toasty fire on a winter day extremely enjoyable.  Lately I have been spending more time sitting on the floor instead of chairs.  Now sitting on a nice chair feels like an incredible luxury.
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theREALpanchovilla

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 01:06:39 AM »
Amigos, I am impressed by your collective self-discipline.

Cold showers and unadulterated hot summers are sure to put hairs on your chest (and in your mustache). Some of you Badassians don't even need chairs or indoor toilets! The mind boggles. And kudos to the bandolero who braved internal core body-type temperatures to shovel concrete! That is LEADERSHIP!

While on the trail I have been pondering some milder voluntary discomforts:
-parking further away than required, especially good if it's hot/cold/raining outside.
-waking up slightly earlier than necessary - very difficult for a person who loves sleep.
-not wearing sunglasses in the mornings and afternoons (when the UV levels are low anyway).
-sitting with friends in a coffee shop (because they wanted to) and not drinking overpriced coffees.
-turning the TV/music/iPhone off and deliberately being unentertained.

But I'm sure you all have more strategies? Por favor, don't be shy...
!Viva el bigote!

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 07:09:18 AM »
I slept in an airport lobby on Friday night instead of getting a $70 hotel room. On Saturday morning, I had to get 16 miles from the airport to downtown New Orleans to a Budget truck rental place. I briefly thought about getting an Uber ride, but instead I looked up the bus routes and found a bus that got me to within 3 miles of my destination. So I took the bus for $2 and walked the rest of the way.

I agree with you - the ability to see hardship as moral victory instead of suffering is an important part of a quality life.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

I need to work on this one. I'm bad about playing a game whenever I have 5 free minutes and ignoring the rest of the world.
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golden1

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 12:07:35 PM »
Running does this for me, especially running in the heat.  The half hour I spend torturing myself makes the rest of my day seem easy in comparison.  It also does make tolerating the heat in the summer much easier. 


theREALpanchovilla

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 07:49:47 PM »
I slept in an airport lobby on Friday night instead of getting a $70 hotel room. On Saturday morning, I had to get 16 miles from the airport to downtown New Orleans to a Budget truck rental place. I briefly thought about getting an Uber ride, but instead I looked up the bus routes and found a bus that got me to within 3 miles of my destination. So I took the bus for $2 and walked the rest of the way.

I laughed reading this - have personally slept in a number of airports, bus stations, train stations, and parks just to avoid paying for a room, too. It's liberating when you realise that you don't HAVE to sleep behind a locked door.

Also, yes to the walking. Where I live at the moment is popularly considered "too hot" to walk anywhere. Despite that, it's often only in the 30s C (80-90s F) and walking is completely safe and not at all difficult, as long as there is some water to drink. Saves me $20 every day I walk to the bus stop (free bus) vs. taking a taxi home.
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stacheasaurus

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 02:18:55 PM »
Running does this for me, especially running in the heat.  The half hour I spend torturing myself makes the rest of my day seem easy in comparison.  It also does make tolerating the heat in the summer much easier.

I LOVE doing this.  People think I'm insane for running in the middle of the day at the hottest times.  I simply shrug, say I love sweating, tie my shirt around my head to keep the sun off of my neck, and off I go!
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yyc-phil

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 03:11:58 PM »
I spend six weeks away in Northern Canada by myself, followed by two weeks home in Calgary where my wife is. From the get-go, I decided it was ridiculous to spend over $1500 on an apartment, and the idea of paying $900 a month for a room in a house with a bunch of people was even less appealing. My solution: becoming the secret office hobo. I sleep on the couch or sometimes on a small inflatable camping mattress, and I have the essentials to be happy: a warm place, no neighbors, a nice espresso machine with free coffee, microwave and mini-fridge. I also house-sit and pet-sit full time for a lady who works on a two-week rotation at a remote mine (as a bonus, it includes using her SUV -gas included, and finishing whatever is left in the fridge) but I really prefer my office situation for a number of reasons, even if it is not the most comfortable arrangement.

Add: I also thought it would be even more ridiculous to have a vehicle in such a cold place, considering costs of maintenance and fuel at $1.39/litre so I have been biking 12 months of the year to run errands or commute when I am house-sitting, even on the coldest days of winter when the temperature plummets to -45. Funny to say, but the colder it is, the better I feel.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 03:19:42 PM by ykphil »
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Roots&Wings

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 10:38:19 AM »
I've signed up for some upcoming work travel (which I usually find uncomfortable). Gonna try to keep my Stoic tranquility mindset going throughout!

zoltani

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2015, 10:51:57 AM »
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/
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Roots&Wings

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2015, 11:18:14 AM »
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Thanks for posting that link! Yep, I'm trying to voluntarily turn a Type III situation into Type I fun. Realistically probably end up at Type II, but worth a try.

RosieTR

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 09:27:41 PM »
Mountain and rock climbing often puts me into situations that are not comfortable at the time.

Here is what as known as the "fun scale" or scale of suffering/discomfort:

Type 1 is fun to plan, fun in the moment and relatively fun to talk about afterward. It is a day of perfect powder skiing or the Flatirons on a crisp September day. Type 2 is fun to plan, a bit of suffering in the process, but worthy of barstool conversation. Type 3 gets a little darker. It doesn't sound like good idea during the planning process; the process is committing, potentially deadly, but the rewards course through the rest of your life.

Here is the longer version if you want to read more
http://kellycordes.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Love the "fun scale"! Thankfully not too many IIIs for me!

But even just basic car camping or backpacking is *great* voluntary discomfort, and even car camping is possible for all but someone heavily disabled. Backpacking especially will teach you just how little you need to survive. Then, you'll appreciate just having water to drink without first purifying it, and being able to wash your hands after several days in the backcountry! Never mind a shower and bed and electricity and chairs/sofa!
One of the great things I found with having the habit of backpacking and camping on a regular basis, was when our region had a bad flood and we weren't sure if we'd have potable water or electricity....no worries! In fact, I was planning to help out the neighbors if we had gotten a boil water order. It's not necessarily financial, but another example of how challenging yourself now and then actually reduces overall worries since you are self-reliant and know what to expect.

esq

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2015, 06:29:32 PM »
In the famous words of Billy Crystal, "I shopped retail once."

I have done some of yours, Poncho!  Parking far away in the heat (100 plus here now), waking up earlier, and not drinking coffee when I treat my daughter to Fourbucks.

Guess i need to head over to the intro thread.  You guys rock.
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ClassyCat

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2015, 09:30:23 AM »
Last weekend I walked a couple miles to the store in the painful summer heat to buy a bike. I haven't ridden one in 10+ years, but I found one I loved and was able to ride back home. Beyond the heat, it was uncomfortable because I had to navigate streets I hadn't previously navigated on foot, but I figured out which paths are best to take for next time.
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zoltani

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2015, 10:12:26 AM »
Last weekend I walked a couple miles to the store in the painful summer heat to buy a bike. I haven't ridden one in 10+ years, but I found one I loved and was able to ride back home. Beyond the heat, it was uncomfortable because I had to navigate streets I hadn't previously navigated on foot, but I figured out which paths are best to take for next time.

Nice job!

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2ndTimer

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 01:46:20 PM »
My favorite voluntary discomfort situation is school.  I am the only person I ever met who voluntarily sat through the first semester of Physical Chemistry a second time after passing it.  I wanted to make sure I knew it ALL.  Really paid off in grad school where the most common reasons for flunking out involve PChm deficiencies.

BlueHouse

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 02:00:42 PM »
Not a physical discomfort, but at least once per year I like to go all cash (no plastic).  It's sort of a diet to get me back to recognizing how easy it is to spend "fake money".  When I go on the all-cash diet, I even pre-pay for gasoline by walking inside the gas station.  If I don't have enough cash for groceries, I walk out of the store and go to an ATM.  I don't use credit or debit.  All of my regular bills still get paid the regular way though.  It basically means that I have one month out of the year where I don't owe anything to anyone (except mortgage). 

Even though I pay off all balances every month, I start accumulating debts before the payment is made to the CC company.  So I like to see a "zero" every once in a while on my bills.
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zoltani

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 03:33:43 PM »
Nice one BlueHouse. I too went the cash route for awhile a couple of years ago, but I like your idea of doing it one month out of the year. Previously I had recognized how easy it was to spend money with cards when you don't actually "feel" what you are spending. When I was younger and had no debit card of credit card I would deposit my paycheck and take cash out after bills were paid. Whatever that cash amount was what I could spend for the period. If I ran out of cash I went hungry, no quick fix at the store by pulling out your plastic, to pay at later date.   
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Trudie

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2015, 01:50:30 PM »
I'm a runner.  I take pride in running in steady rain, snow, and heat.  Regarding all of the above - I take steps to make sure I'm safe.  For instance, in heat I take walk breaks and make sure I have plenty of water stops.  But I do it because it makes me feel badass and makes me less prone to whine about other things.

I live at the top of steep hill that is connected to the main part of town by a paved trail.  I go up and down this trail several times a week.  At the end of a bike ride I always push my bike up the .5 miles of the trail.  Recently went biking with a friend and she was concerned about getting a bike rack to get our bikes up and down to town (thus needing a car).  Not biking with that friend again.  I just don't enjoy being a slave to convenience.  I think about the walk up the hill with my bike as an opportunity to re-acclimate the sea legs and get a little more exercise.  To her it's a hassle.

These are people who have an oversized 4 stall garage and a lower stall they use as a shed (5 stalls).  There's a machine for everything.  No thanks.  I'll stick to my push mower and continue being a badass.

PFHC

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2015, 02:03:58 PM »
I work as a marine engineer. I work in the engine room, which is a hot, loud place filled with many strenuous, dirty, thankless labors. That is my voluntary discomfort. And I love it.

After twelve hours slogging away in the heat and noise, I love to come up on deck, drenched in sweat, smelling like low tide, and take a big healthy lungful of fresh open ocean air. I walk to the bulwark, and squint into the morning sun as I take in the most beautiful sunrise nature has to offer.

I've been doing this for nearly 15 years, and I will never tire of that part of it. Voluntary discomfort so that I can live a life filled with adventure, and my family can too.

GuitarStv

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 01:21:07 PM »
Spent years doing Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and Judo.  Having a large, sweaty man slam me to the ground and then try his damnedest to choke the life out of me sounds like a fun afternoon.  It's far less comfortable in hot summer weather when you're wearing a thick gi . . . but that discomfort is balanced by the fact that the outfit makes your whole sport look moderately less homoerotic than just wrestling in shorts and a rashguard.  :P

I work on the 8th floor of our building, and have only taken the elevator a handful of times in six years.  Elevators suck . . . and taking the stairs is like being paid to work out.

Melody

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2015, 06:25:01 PM »
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
Love the no smartphone trick. I have been doing a variation of this lately, carrying personal finance books and reading those instead. Especially share reading reading that stuff a few times really helps with understanding.

dalegendman

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2015, 04:38:50 PM »
Hola amigos, one of my favourite facets of the blog is MMM's espousal of willing submission to discomfort. It's THE mental 'trick' that turns the whining complainypants voice in my head into a lusty "Ole!" of VICTORY.

So, I'd love to hear what you more seasoned Mustachians do to increase your badassity levels?

I ran across a thread on heat acclimatization someone posted in 2012 or thereabouts. I can relate to that because it's 100++!! degrees pretty much every day now in the desert where I live. We don't use AC in our flat as the building is cool enough. It gets mildly uncomfortable in the heat of the day, but then the night seems so much more pleasant by comparison.

Another small thing I recently started to do is to NOT look at my smartphone when I am unexpectedly forced to wait a few minutes for something/someone. At first the desire to sneak a peek at Facebook was agonising, but now I could quite happily sit for 10 minutes in some government department, waiting to get the necessary signature or whatever bit of paperwork is required.

So what about you???
Love the no smartphone trick. I have been doing a variation of this lately, carrying personal finance books and reading those instead. Especially share reading reading that stuff a few times really helps with understanding.

I've been doing something similar while waiting for the bus or the metro. While waiting I like to focus on my surroundings or start thinking about the things in my life that I'm thankful for. It usually makes me feel better than staring at my phone and frantically trying to absorb all the new emails and tweets.

mara

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2015, 04:14:54 AM »
There is an abundance of daily voluntary discomfort in my life, with chores, work for pay, exercise, bike riding, and caring for others, but I did do something extra recently. We live near trails on a hill. We needed a safer trail route. I found some animal trails and an old overgrown cartpath that went around a dangerous area of trail and could rejoin it higher up. The work to open the route was heavy and hard, and took about a month. While working, I was bitten, stung, drenched by rain and sweat, exhausted, yelled at, bruised, cut when my little saw slipped, and got lost more than once. But, now we have a safe trail and the neighbors are enjoying it, too.

Fishindude

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2015, 05:16:29 AM »
We cut wood for winter heat supplement.   Allows us to keep the thermostat low and gas bills under control.
The work associated with it makes you really appreciate a nice warm house.

o2bfree

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2015, 09:25:22 PM »
I do a partial fast one day a week, skipping breakfast and lunch. I think I could skip dinner too, but I go to the gym every other morning, and don't like to eat much in the morning, so that would make for a sub-optimal workout.

TheBuddha

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2015, 09:43:06 PM »
Going days, even weeks without the internet.

Working out.
Debt-free as of 9/11/15. Paid off $50k in 3.5 years.




o2bfree

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2015, 06:57:01 AM »
Going days, even weeks without the internet. Working out.

Buddha, how about sesshin? Rohatsu?

TheBuddha

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2015, 11:09:46 AM »
Going days, even weeks without the internet. Working out.
Buddha, how about sesshin? Rohatsu?

Nah. The Buddha is not into meditation.
Debt-free as of 9/11/15. Paid off $50k in 3.5 years.




Candace

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2015, 11:40:13 AM »
In the famous words of Billy Crystal, "I shopped retail once."

That's hilarious.

As of yesterday, I now stand up at my job instead of sitting on my ass all day. Like many here, I'm a software developer, so I've sat on my ass at work all my life. (I realize that to people with more physically active work, this doesn't sound like a "discomfort", so apologies.)

My lower back is talking to me, but I figure it will get better in a few weeks. There are so many articles out there these days about how much healthier it is to stand up, and to boot, my doctor wants me to do that now due to my neck issues. So, I suppose I should say I'm doing it semi-voluntarily. At least, I'm embracing the change. I hope it's good for my health.


KiwiSonya

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2015, 12:35:31 PM »
I am actively working on adding more voluntary discomfort into my life and you've all given me some great ideas. I already go barefoot most of the time (as do my kids) and we love to camp. I'm starting to widen my temperature tolerances -will try the cold shower in a few days when I need one (that's right folks no daily showering here). I like the cash only idea too because money can seem abstract if you don't have notes passing through your hands. Will try some floor sitting too.  Always do my dishes by hand but did some clothes washing by hand for fun - made me appreciate my washing machine. Great thread.

Making Cookies

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2016, 03:16:15 PM »
Our discomfort is learning how to do for ourselves in any situation.

Car broken? Then figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

Need to update/repair the house? Then figure out how to do it for ourselves.

The discomfort comes from the time spent to learn the skills and the fact that the first couple of times you practice the new skill, its often slow and sometimes "painful" (tiring, testing of patience, back aches, sore knees, tired back, etc).

What we come away with is things done for a fraction of the cost of hiring someone, plus skills that could translate into cash if we do those same chores for someone else later.

Timing belt for the car? Maybe $100 vs $500 at a shop.

Tile floor in the utility room? $250 vs double or triple that if we hired someone.

Sometimes we trade favors with friends. I fix their car, they dog sit for us when we go out of town. I fix their computer and they give us tickets to a play or sports that they can't use.

I don't seek payment with friends, the networking alone is worthwhile - knowing who to call if we were in a bind.

The exchange of knowledge, ideas and help. Friendships made.

monstermonster

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2016, 03:28:54 PM »
I lived/worked as a catholic worker - form of voluntary poverty living in service to those in poverty ($100/month stipend is all you get paid to live at your job 24/7) and did two terms of service in Americorps (your pay is tied to poverty level.) Whenever I need a kick in my complainypants butt now that I have a cushy fancypants nonprofit job**, I remember the voluntary poverty I endured back then with a great deal of joy. In many ways, those years were the most joyful of my life because I was completely working towards the better good with very little idea that there was a fancier life out there.

Whenever I want to buy something, I think back to what Catholic Worker/Americorps me would do. I used to always track everything that was non-essential (food, water) I wanted to buy in a spreadsheet, ranked in multiple categories and by price, and wait at least 50 days before I bought anything on the spreadsheet. Usually after 50 days, it would be clear if I really wanted to get it/save for it, or if it was just temporary lust. The feeling of realizing it was temporary lust and then letting the want go was very valuable.

The teachings of Dorothy Day and  and Peter Maurin, co-founders of the Catholic Worker movement, true badass radicals, are helpful when I want to whine about my own abundance now: Peter said because he was poor he remained free; he had time to think. He lived a rich and abundant life because of that very poverty.

That being said, nothing like living through having to wash all my clothing on a rock in 110 degree weather while working in India that made me love the wealth of washing machines for the rest of my days.

**And this is why I get cranky at people on these forums who constantly tell me I need to make more money at $39K.

pka222

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2016, 02:30:49 PM »
We live on a small tropical island, where rental properties have a great range -from no walls or plumbing to super posh western style. While we have walls and plumbing- we don't have AC or  hot water - honestly cold showers feel awesome when its hot (most of the time) and A/C just makes you weaker.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2016, 06:29:08 PM »
These are some great (and some insane) ideas!  Here are a few more:

*I know this isn't physical discomfort, but I try to give feedback or speak my mind to people in a polite way when typically I would just avoid the conversation.  I've found that pushing myself to say uncomfortable (but not necessarily rude) things has made me feel more authentic and made me interpersonally more effective.

*Not eating the moment I start to feel hungry.  I don't deprive myself of food or get so famished that I pass out or anything, but putting that subtle space between thinking "Wow, I'm hungry - I should eat" and eating has helped me a) not just grab what's convenient when I'm hungry and b) learn to better understand my body's hunger signals.

*Eating spicier foods - because they're dang tasty, it opens up more recipe options for me, some research suggests that spicy foods have heath benefits, and just to see if I can do it.


golden1

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2016, 07:03:59 AM »
Quote
*Not eating the moment I start to feel hungry.  I don't deprive myself of food or get so famished that I pass out or anything, but putting that subtle space between thinking "Wow, I'm hungry - I should eat" and eating has helped me a) not just grab what's convenient when I'm hungry and b) learn to better understand my body's hunger signals.

I think that food tastes better too if you wait until you are quite hungry. 


Bracken_Joy

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2016, 08:18:12 AM »
I love this thread! Posting mainly so I can get some good ideas =D I will say, since I grew up doing many of these things (barefoot, hiking/camping/hunting in cold weather, pouring rain, snow, etc) I'm not sure what is voluntary discomfort vs just plain enjoyable. My childhood may have broken my perspective a bit there!

-I periodically (I try for once a quarter) go a while without alcohol. Just to make sure I can. Self-mastery and all that. I haven't done this with coffee, but probably should.
-Cold shower cycles. Similarly: swimming in lakes and rivers. I was way more badass as a kid, when I would crawdad in a glacial runoff stream in just a swimsuit. I'm a wimp now and often wear boots to do this, or stick to warmer streams. Same vein as well, scuba diving in a wet suit. Never used a dry suit, even in the winter, even for deep water dives. I don't dive anymore though =\
-Walking to the store. (Not sure this counts, I LOVE this, but I do it even in the rain)
-Living with no dishwasher, but cook all our meals from scratch. LOTS of dishes.
-Minimal climate control. I have never, in my life, had A/C where I lived. In the winter right now, we set our thermostat for 64 during the day, 60 overnight. The only exception is I turn it to 68 to shower. Wimpy, I know ;)
-Outdoor gym. We have a home gym, which we use year round. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter (oh my god the pullup bar first thing in the morning when it's been freezing overnight... ack). Bugs. Etc.
-I suppose hunting your own meat or raising and butchering your own meat counts, but I don't do it for the voluntary discomfort aspects, but for the moral and health ones.

Hmm. Upon reflection, a lot of what I do *looks* like voluntary discomfort, but that isn't usually the motivation behind it- it's usually health, or morality, or my twisted version of fun. I'm not sure if that still counts!
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Basenji

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2016, 06:55:46 PM »
Bumping because awesome.

Diniecita

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2016, 07:49:53 PM »
We don't turn our AC on at all. We had company over yesterday and they just assumed that we didn't HAVE AC and we're completely fine with it.

 
I love this thread! Posting mainly so I can get some good ideas =D I will say, since I grew up doing many of these things (barefoot, hiking/camping/hunting in cold weather, pouring rain, snow, etc) I'm not sure what is voluntary discomfort vs just plain enjoyable. My childhood may have broken my perspective a bit there!

-I periodically (I try for once a quarter) go a while without alcohol. Just to make sure I can. Self-mastery and all that. I haven't done this with coffee, but probably should.
-Cold shower cycles. Similarly: swimming in lakes and rivers. I was way more badass as a kid, when I would crawdad in a glacial runoff stream in just a swimsuit. I'm a wimp now and often wear boots to do this, or stick to warmer streams. Same vein as well, scuba diving in a wet suit. Never used a dry suit, even in the winter, even for deep water dives. I don't dive anymore though =\
-Walking to the store. (Not sure this counts, I LOVE this, but I do it even in the rain)
-Living with no dishwasher, but cook all our meals from scratch. LOTS of dishes.
-Minimal climate control. I have never, in my life, had A/C where I lived. In the winter right now, we set our thermostat for 64 during the day, 60 overnight. The only exception is I turn it to 68 to shower. Wimpy, I know ;)
-Outdoor gym. We have a home gym, which we use year round. Hot in the summer. Cold in the winter (oh my god the pullup bar first thing in the morning when it's been freezing overnight... ack). Bugs. Etc.
-I suppose hunting your own meat or raising and butchering your own meat counts, but I don't do it for the voluntary discomfort aspects, but for the moral and health ones.

Hmm. Upon reflection, a lot of what I do *looks* like voluntary discomfort, but that isn't usually the motivation behind it- it's usually health, or morality, or my twisted version of fun. I'm not sure if that still counts!

We do a lot of these things as well. I raise ducks and chickens to get eggs and butcher. And rabbits. easy, easy bunnies.
I'm working on not buying clothes for all of 2016. We don't really need them, but it is uncomfortable sometimes when I think about getting something new.
I make all of our blankets. I enjoy quilting from scraps that people give me or old clothing that wears out.
I'm growing a lot of our own food. It's tastier than a lot of crap from the store anyways.
We don't have or plan to get cable. Some of my friends think that this is a HUGE hardship and say that we are depriving ourselves.
I don't see it that way. They also don't get much done during the day even though she is always "busy"
I voluntarily go without my shoes a lot. I just don't think of that as discomfort. Unless I step on a sand burr.
That's about all I can think of for now.
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kfire20

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Re: Voluntary discomfort *New 5*
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2016, 03:49:18 PM »
A small thing but I rode my bike 4 miles this morning in the pouring rain to my 4 hr. volunteer gig. I found myself smiling at points along the way. (Last month)

Update:
This is a holiday weekend in Canada... August Civic holiday first Monday in August so I thought I'd try some voluntary discomfort coupled with thriftiness just for fun:

1. Spent a small amount at the outdoor market this Saturday for veggies. No other spending this long weekend.
2. Took the free bus to close-the-street-to-cars day downtown (and back).. walked up and down.. left my wallet and all money/cards at home.
3. Dying to go out for steak tonight.. (locals get $10.00 on the feature each night here at a restaurant in town) but I'm not going... heating up a single serving of lasagna instead
4. Rode my bike 4.5 km each way to swim some lengths at the local pool at noon today
5. It's 80F outside and as MMM has said "What do you have the AC on when its only 80F outside?" so I've had AC turned off all day and opened the windows.

*thankful to MMM, the Minimalists and others for helping me to adopt this way of life and sticking with it for about 7 months now...
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 02:32:51 PM by k20 »

k290

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Re: Voluntary discomfort
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2016, 10:17:26 AM »
A small thing but I rode my bike 4 miles this morning in the pouring rain to my 4 hr. volunteer gig. I found myself smiling at points along the way.

I don't like your username... ;)


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Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2016, 12:48:54 PM »
We lived in two tiny cabins (garden sheds that we winterized, about 300 sq. feet total between the two) for 26 months while we built our house and worked at full time jobs. No power, no running water, composting toilet. We used battery powered led lights and pumped water into containers from our well every 10 days or so. Rent in town would have cost about 18k for that time period, and we spent about 10k on the kitchen shed, so still came out ahead.

It's amazing how one can get used to a situation like this- many people probably thought we were crazy and/or deprived, but honestly it was a mostly fun adventure, with some challenges (propane refrigerators in tiny spaces may try to kill you with CO, for example). Also provided perspective on 1st world assumptions of necessity and helped us pare down our possessions, which we have mostly maintained now that we are living in an actual house with mod cons.

Do i miss the effort it took to shower (pour water into container, heat water on stove, transfer to solar shower bag, shower, empty water from tub we stood in since there wasn't a drain)? No, but I'm glad to know we can make do if we had to, and I'm a lot more conscious of my water usage now that I know two people can shower using less than 5 gallons of water.

libertarian4321

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2016, 05:00:40 AM »
When travelling, I sometimes pull into a truck stop and sleep in the back of my truck (with a camper shell and an old mattress) rather than spend money on a hotel.

My wife thinks that's "weird" for a multimillionaire.

But it's no big deal to me.  I've sure as Hell been a lot less comfortable while in the Army.


screwit

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2016, 05:37:06 AM »
Yesterday we drove 10 hours in a 40 year old car with two little kids.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2016, 08:19:53 AM »
When travelling, I sometimes pull into a truck stop and sleep in the back of my truck (with a camper shell and an old mattress) rather than spend money on a hotel.

My wife thinks that's "weird" for a multimillionaire.

But it's no big deal to me.  I've sure as Hell been a lot less comfortable while in the Army.

I suppose we do that one as well! I hate truck stops though (never feel safe there, being a young woman). We "car camp" in the back of our truck on road trips a lot of times- plywood then foam pads then our blankets or sleeping bags. And we do it for fun too, although those locations are far more scenic!
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Kaspian

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Re: Voluntary discomfort - please share your experiences!
« Reply #49 on: July 11, 2016, 08:20:36 AM »
In the winter, I'll walk home in -30 during a blizzard, 3-foot snowdrifts, with a huge backpack of groceries.  It's like being on the planet Hoth, fucking insanely difficult, and I'll rage out loud right back at the storm, "C'mon!  You can do worse than that, you big sissy!!"  It feels so amazing to finally get home--like I've really walked the gauntlet and the reward is being warm, exhausted, and still alive.  Coworkers think I'm completely nuts for doing this, but I love it.  ...And they all pay for gym memberships. 

Hmmm.... Come to think of it, I do the same thing in the summer during a heatwave.  Get home completely drenched with sweat and jump in a cool shower ASAP.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2016, 08:26:16 AM by Kaspian »
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