Seek uncomfortable work

Among the best feelings I've experienced is when I've received good grades in math. I've always had a strained relationship with the subject; in middle school I desperately placed an eternal oath of hate for all mathematical subjects. Yet, I'll be hard-pressed to give a better example of a more pure, joyous pride than when I receive good grades on my math tests. It's like being served a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day, while wrapped in a warm blanket after battling a fierce blizzard. I also dislike cold weather and snow, but let's keep it to the point.

Dude, sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.Jake the Dog

I believe that there's always a reason for a reward, and the reason I feel good about getting good grades in maths is because, for me, it's hard. Compare it to a tough physical workout; there's a sense of accomplishment, and it's not only psychological. The human body actually rewards you physically for doing hard shit.

So simple. Do hard shit, and cash in the rewards, right?

Here's the problem; doing "hard shit" is difficult. And by definition, doing something difficult is uncomfortable. After five years of going to a technical university program, learning a new math concept still makes me feel like I suck. I know many people who have the exact same feeling about things they're not good at. Sadly, these feelings tend to limit people more than they want to admit. One of the most common reasons for not practicing to become better at something is because they're not good at it now. Please ignore that irrational "Catch 22"-ish thought (note to self). Coming to terms with being crappy is one of the most useful things a person can do. Every time you're doing uncomfortable work, you're on the path to becoming better.

Mental discomfort is a compass, so learn to regard it like you do the strain of a physical workout – it sucks, but it makes all the difference.

While writing this piece I have had, more than once, an urge to smash the delete-button and throw it all away... but I want to become better at writing. I consider this a few words closer to that goal.