In any given moment, a man’s growth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should not be too lazy, happily stagnating in the zone of security and comfort. Nor should he push far beyond his edge, stressing himself unnecessarily, unable to metabolize his experience. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort. Constantly. In everything he does. – David Deida
What is your edge? Are you living on your edge? Are you so addicted to comfort that your edge is simply getting out of bed in the morning?
The edge can be found in many situations and you’ll always feel it. It’s a part of life. It’s a part of what it means to be a man. We’ve been conditioned to feel the edge for tiny trivial things.
My friend Chris Delamo from Red Pill Philosophy, said it best, “It’s like a fucking spiritual effort just to go to the gym nowadays”. These days, any little thing that requires effort or delayed gratification puts them on the edge, and so just going to the gym becomes this spiritual effort.
When you say “no” to your urge for instant gratification, the edge is what you’ll feel. When you know you should approach that pretty girl at the mall, and you’re hesitating, the edge is what you’ll feel.
There are psychological studies that show the effect that instant gratification has on our minds. When you don’t get instant fulfillment, your psychological response is anxiety or tension.
That tension you feel when you delay your gratification is one way to feel your edge.
Basically, leaning slightly beyond your edge simply means moving with perfect effort and continuously challenging yourself. This doesn’t mean that every single moment, you should be doing something that scares you. It might simply mean going to the gym even though, you really really don’t feel like it. It might simply mean not eating any junk food even though you feel tension from a situation that might have occurred at work.
The key is to live: slightly beyond your edge.
Our ancestors didn’t have all of the comfort that we have. They felt the edge. They felt the tension of what it feels like to have to endure hardship. But to them this tension was their friend and they embraced it.
They didn’t have Toys R Us and McDonalds. If they wanted to eat, they went out and hunted. They always had to put in the work first and then reap the reward.
If our ancestors observed our edge, they would laugh. We find it difficult to simply get out of bed in the morning, while they had to endure hardships that were life-or-death. But that’s OK. This isn’t an article meant to shame you but to put things into perspective.
You must start to lean beyond and expand your edge consistently. Make your ancestors proud. Endure the tension of the edge and don’t fall back. Keep standing.
Ultimately, leaning slightly beyond your edge means choosing thriving (moving towards your purpose) instead of coping (retreating and indulging in pleasure and comfort). So find your edge now and lean slightly beyond it. Right now your edge might simply be getting up early consistently. Your edge is unique to you and will eventually expand until your old edge becomes your new comfort zone. Relax and breathe but never settle for mediocrity.