How Important is Discomfort for You?

"For some time now I have been wondering what it was that caused me to leave my post as a secondary school teacher. Looking back, a post like that was the very thing for me. And today it dawned on me that this was precisely the reason - that I had regarded myself as ideally suited to the position. Had I carried on in my post I would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. So for this reason it seemed proper to relinquish the post and take employment with a travelling theatre company, since I had no talent for such work and therefore everything to gain" - S. Kierkegaard, in "Either/Or"

I found it amazing how Kierkegaard lived his philosophy and puzzling how he willingly opted for discomfort. You might be considering a change in your professional life or your personal relationships: Changing countries, joining a theatre group, learning a tough skill etc. Each of these carries its own dose of discomfort. In "The Rise", Sarah Lewis reminds us of "the lost art of learning to stand where we would rather not and expand in ways we never knew we could."

And so here's my question. Discomfort is on the rise in our society today: "Fail fast, fail more, fail soon" in the start-up world, "Creativity is about walking in the dark until you find the light" in the scientific and creative worlds. And with each comes the corollaries of courage and risk-taking ("stay foolish, stay hungry"). These social leitmotivs are all around us. But is discomfort necessarily that fundamental to personal growth?


Where does discomfort rank in your decision-making?

If you were to choose between a lower-paying but more challenging job in a country where you barely speak the language and a higher paying, safer one in the UK, would go "all Kierkegaard" and opt for the former?

More so, would you willingly leave a "dream (safe) job" for one that will expand your self and ensure personal growth?