Danger Lies Ahead

US Army Survival Manual - FM 21-76The US Army Survival Manual (FM 21-76)  has this to say: The greatest dangers to your continued survival and freedom are: A desire for comfort and a passive outlook.  These aren’t threats only to soldiers, but to all of us.  The most common barriers to your personal growth in the coming year will be: A desire for comfort and a passive outlook.  The greatest dangers to your career are: A desire for comfort and a passive outlook.  Nothing will kill an adventure faster than… You guessed it. A desire for comfort and a passive outlook.  Desire for comfort can keep you from taking the risks that are required to reach your goals.  In traveling, a desire for comfort leads to packing bags full of just in case items, making jumping in a taxi or running through an airport difficult.  Planes are missed because of baggage check cutoffs that wouldn’t be an issue if the traveler was able to pack down into a single bag.  By decreasing your choices, you’ll increase your options.  A passive outlook results from lacking the will to keep trying, ending in indifference. If everything works on the first try, you’ve mastered what you’re doing. I’ve come to believe that it isn’t a real win if you were never in danger of losing. So try something new and fail, figure out why, then try again.

How comfortable are YOU?


  • http://notshocking.com corey denis

    uncomfortable and psyched to be this way. all the greatest situations are awkward and challenging. embrace, embrace, embrace. We’ve come to far for socially passive aggro behaviors, it’s time to get uncomfy and there’s not a fucking thing we can do to change it. Change: our greatest constant as hairless monkeys. And if we forget, our failing economy is here to remind us: with great fallibility comes great change. embrace, embrace, embrace. (are you coming to SF anytime soon?)

  • http://www.StickerGiant.com StickerGiant

    Great post. Economic downturns are a natural cycle of a free market. These times shake the cobwebs and inefficiencies out of our economy. Make sure your business or career does not become a cobweb. Take risks, and don’t ever use the downturn as an excuse to sit idle and whine about the economy.

  • http://www.funfelt.com funfelt

    This really hit home, thanks for the analogy!! I’ll remember this, especially when it comes to my business. I needed to hear this today!

  • http://quickleft.com Collin Schaafsma

    Well said. Seems like every time I really stick my neck out I get the best pay back win or lose. Problem is I sometimes tend to forget that and get to comfy. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.andrewhyde.net Andrew Hyde

    One bag for a trip.

    Make that a rule.

    One bag.

    I did a 25 day trip in a laptop bag. One of the better experiences of my life.

    Here is to the unknown.

  • http://tomchikoore.com Tom Chikoore

    This is a great post Jeremy. “By decreasing your choices, you’ll increase your options”. Increasing one’s options results in an increase in one’s opportunities. In my opinion, one’s life is defined by opportunities taken or missed; therefore, one may possible miss out not only on the immediate options at hand but on life itself.

  • http://www.marketing-consigliere.com Joe “Giuseppe” Zuccaro

    “…it isn’t a real win if you were never in danger of losing.”

    Great quote Jeremy! sorta like “It’s not a home run if you’re batting from third base….”



  • http://www.twitter.com/6oclockvintage Tim

    Solid post, I completely agree with you. Many of the most exciting developments and opportunities in my life have resulted from taking uncomfortable calculated risks.

  • http://tylerwillis.net Tyler Willis


    This is completely true. Continually push yourself. I try to do things that make me uncomfortable, and that make you think I’m crazy.

    Not only does it make me happier and more likely to succeed, it also gives me good stories to tell.

  • http://www.electromute.com Ingrid Alongi

    Nice one, Jeremy. I think I’m right in the middle of that kind of stuff so I’ll keep this post and all the awesome comments in mind for the time being and hopefully have a good story to tell….

  • http://jeremytanner.com Jeremy

    @corey Good to hear! I’ll see you at SXSW at the latest.

    @Tyler I think I know some of those stories…

    @Ingrid Stay the course!


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  • http://www.twitter.com/heyrich Richard Grote

    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. And the best souvenirs seem to be the regular stuff that I’ve gotten while deep in the heart of a trip. Turns out they sell Sudoku books in Prague, suits in Bangkok, and surf hats in San José del Cabo. Go figure.

  • http://www.dodenergy.blogspot.com Andy B

    Nothing works as a concise guide for establishing and maintaining a life worth living like that single statement from the Army manual. Thanks for bringing to so many folks attention!

  • http://www.dustinhenderlong.com Dustin H

    Great post, Jeremy.