If I put my finger in the flame of a candle, the pain I feel is a signal to remove it from harm’s way.

When I lift heavy weights at the gym, my muscles:

  • Struggle
  • Find it difficult
  • Are discomforted
  • Experience pain
  • Suffer the next day

My brain remembers the candle and urges me to stop.

However, these are not signals to stop. 

They are sensations attached to the process of growth.

As a result, my muscles become:

  • Strong
  • Healthy
  • Capable
  • Useful
  • Happy

And I am:

  • Happy
  • Enabled
  • Functional

In the same way that addiction hijacked my automated survival biology (like the Dopamine mechanism) to drive me further into its clutches, my understanding of ‘comfort’ and ‘happiness’ can also sabotage and undermine my recovery efforts (and any other pursuit requiring a struggle).

There’s an illusionary contradiction to get my head around:

Comfort and happiness are often found by initially rejecting them.

Money can’t buy happiness.

A) Because happiness is an inner construct and the inner is never built by the outer; it is curated from within, and

B) Because wealth brings power, and power corrupts 

(A definition of corrupt: change or debase by making errors or unintentional alterations.)

Wealth brings the power to choose the softer (more comfortable, no pain) options in life, and unless I am alert and careful to discriminate appropriately … I will select them.

All that glitters is not gold.

Softer and more comfortable only work in moderation.


Taking the elevator to the 20th floor.

In itself, not a problem. Better than the stairs. Don’t arrive sweaty.

However, if I extrapolate this concept to never walking again because being carried is more comfortable, the following will result:

  • My muscles would atrophy and vanish.
  • I would lose my independence and need permanent care.
  • Loss of privacy, as even a toilet break would require a third party.
  • The financial strain of this handicap would be heavy.

What would start as a comfortable joy would end as misery.

A problem. 

Money and power exist.

Should I be choosing poverty and impotence?

The Bible calls me to “meditate night and day” upon its wisdom.

Herein lies the answer.

I must foster a thought process independent of the pressures exerted by either power or impotence.

I am talking about resisting the inappropriate lure of luxury and fear and being able to discern those moments correctly.

I do this by reason and self-control born out of a constant mental engagement with these powerful life ingredients.

My subconscious is not too bright and often misses the connection between the highlighted words above. Unfortunately, it can usually do the opposite.

I need to be intentional and proactive about engaging my logical mind.

Extraordinary thinkers abound throughout human history; their thoughts are transcribed and available. 

God bless the internet and bookshops.

Philosophers and poets. 

Religious leaders and influencers.

I can connect with their thoughts and thereby allow them to catalyze mine.

Metaphor alert:

You’ll find a caldron of simmering stock in any professional kitchen bubbling away 24/7.

It is constantly being added to, stirred and gets stronger and fitter for purpose with every passing hour; a readily available resource.

I need to cultivate my wisdom accordingly.

I need to review and challenge my automated thought functions regularly.

Food for thought:

Discomfort often brings joy.

Comfort often brings misery.


Mindset change.

When things hurt, remember that situations are temporary and that not all pain is bad.

I set my mind up every day, first thing, with my coffee, alone at my kitchen table and surrounded by reference books of every kind.

I read, delve, think, meditate and make notes.

I challenge myself and acquire new thoughts.

I stir my mental stock pot.

It is my most pleasing, favoured way of greeting each new dawn and setting myself up to draw the best out of the day.

Love and peace