The day that I lay down on the street on a challenge

This happened a few years ago. I was reading 4-Hour Work Week, the book that I have most recommended and gifted. For those who have not read the book, at the end of each chapter, Tim Ferriss presents a comfort challenge — a short and simple challenge that is supposed to make you uncomfortable, thus conditioning you to discomfort and overcome it.

To quote Tim Ferriss,

There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.

I had skipped all the challenges until I reached the halfway mark. Here I was introduced to the ‘Relax in Public’ comfort challenge. The challenge required you to lie down in the middle of a crowded place. And the introvert that I am, the challenge sounded ludicrous. However, the more I thought about the challenge, the more I wanted to try it. And the idea was further fueled by my need to prove my lovely wife wrong, who was quite certain that I won’t go through with the challenge.

Battling my Inner Fears

While I was thinking about the place where I’d want to do the challenge, I was visualizing all the things that could go wrong. I was contemplating what would I possibly think if someone else was doing the challenge, and I just walked past. I would think whether the person was sane or inebriated, since no person in their right mind would willingly lie down in the street. And all these thought made it more uncomfortable for me to even think of doing something like this.

The Final Act

At that point in time, it had been over 2 weeks since I decided to do the challenge. I knew that the more I think about it, the less likely I’d be to get it done. So, I was talking about this challenge to a friend, and he suggested we go scout out the place where I want to perform the challenge. We wanted to understand the lay of the land, so to speak. It was a street junction, next to our workplace. So, we walked there; it wasn’t too crowded that day. And I knew then, the more time I give to think about this, the less likely for me to do it. So, I took the plunge, and just lay down on the street, to the surprise of my friend.

Beyond the Valley of Fear

For the first 5 seconds, I could almost hear my heart pounding, as I saw many passing me by, giving weird glances at me. However, suddenly, to my surprise, everything settled down. Weirdly, it felt normal, lying down on the street. I even gave a big, wide smile to those who were looking at me. I lay down for almost a minute before getting up and dusting myself. I then walked proudly to the coffee shop nearby for a nice hot cup of coffee.

The 3 lessons that I learned that day

  1. Reality is a lot less scary than what you imagine.
  2. When afraid, just do it. Action is the antidote to fear.
  3. The place of maximum bliss lies just beyond your fear.

This post was created with Typeshare



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store