The Comfort Crisis

Physical Copy:


By: Michael Easter

Rating: A+

Holy smokes this was a great book! The message was challenging and the story telling was phenomenal. 

The author explains the benefits of getting out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally. His explanation is interwoven with an epic story about his own Misogi Challenge, a month long caribou hunt in the Alaskan wilderness. Spoiler…the author has never hunted and the storytelling is fantastic.

A Misogi Challenge: A physical and mental challenge that you have a 50% chance of succeeding at if everything goes right. It is difficult but there are insurances that you will not die.

Main points of the comfort crisis and what to do about it:

  1. Rule 1: Make It Really Hard. Rule 2: Don’t Die. Go on a Misogi regularly. Modern life is comfortable, but it is not making us happy. US Citizens are some of the most unhappy people in the world. Physical challenges and new experiences improve our mental well-being. Every time you do something you don’t want to do but is good for you, you grow as a person.
  1. Rediscover Boredom. Ideally Outside. For Minutes, Hours, and Days. Our bodies and minds were not made for constant stimulus from technology. We need solitude and boredom to recharge.
  1. Feel Hunger. Distinguish cravings from real hunger, and accept that it’s OK to feel hungry sometimes. Short periods of fasting have health benefits. Autophagy is an important biological process that removes weak cells from within the body. It’s the body’s way of “taking out the trash” – getting rid of cells associated with cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions. Constant snacking prevents the body from carrying out this vital process. A shocking statement was that some 80% of our modern hunger cravings are tied to the dopamine loop and not actual hunger. No wonder we are so overweight. You are rarely actually hungry.
  1. Think About Your Death Every Day. Life is precious so be filled with gratitude for the day that you were given and make it count.
  1. Carry the Load. For a happy, healthy life, we need exercise – ideally outdoors, with other people, while carrying weights. Humans, even elite athletes, are not strong or fast compared to almost any other animal in the animal kingdom. What humans are uniquely capable of is carrying objects for long distances. This is essential exercise for the human body.

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