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  • philwarder

The Big Comfy Prison

The couch…. Oh couch….how I love you so and have become attached to in an unhealthy way.. At the end of the day I need you to hold me up or to lay me down to slumber. But I never realized in this entire era of social distancing that you were choking me. Yes…choking me and depriving me of one thing I still hold dear during this time of suspended animation…crushing my goals.

Goals…what highly motivated individual doesn’t set goals? It is a device thrown around in various consumable mediums of business, self-help, finance, dating, nutrition….you get the picture…most individuals who set goals more often than not meet them… This is a good place to start after all. Wish I did this in my 20s…you know what I did when I was confronted with this challenge around that age? I avoided it…I was too cool for school. I didn’t see the value in setting goals because you had to go above and beyond to achieve them…or something along the lines. What I was really doing was avoiding the necessary pain of levelling up and in my mind the more excruciating failure of not achieving what I set out to do. This was in the early 2000’s and recently I caught myself in this same trap in 2021. This came to pass because frankly I spent too much time on that damn couch.

Good Enough is Good Enough…Or can you do better? I’ve lost track of the amount of people I’ve met over the years who have given up. Have they given up on living? Not exactly…more like giving up on taking their life to the next level or trying to find their way out of some unappealing circumstances. Their current level is all there is and they might as well just accept it and live in the vibration of disappointment while grinding their teeth…both in waking life and likely while asleep. It deeply pains me to see bright, thoughtful and caring people just sleepwalking through this wonderful adventure we call life. I often wonder what happened to them? What is their financial state? Did they marry the wrong partner and decide that matrimony was cheaper than divorce and are unfulfilled? Did they take a risk like open a business or stand up to a former employer and end up out on their ass? Or were they just raised by negative and cynical parents who conditioned them into this is how life must be? Or did they just not follow through on their goals and dreams? This is when I catch myself and say….wait a minute there Phantom…are you living the life you’ve been wanting to create for years now?

Damn it! It’s true….the answer is a fat resounding no! Am I thankful for what I have? Absolutely….I am a blessed human being that has been able to navigate through this wild pandemic era with intuition, decision making and messages from Spirit…I wouldn’t trade what I have for anything.

On the surface this looks like an overwhelming positive however it is not the conclusion of the story. I feel there can be a fine line between gratitude and complacency. ‘I guess I should be thankful for what I have while many others go without…so since things are good enough…they are good enough’ Hey, if you’re having a go with this approach and it works for you? Wonderful…keep it up… But what about for those of us who have this inner knowing that there is all this unmet potential…pounds could be shed….the bank balance could grow….the like-minded social circle could expand…there is an escape from the 9-5 Matrix…we need to fulfill these desires because we realize they CAN be achieved and that ‘good enough is NOT good enough’….it’s just another stage of the journey…but this still isn’t enough….it’s coming to the realization that to get even a sniff of what you really want out of life you have to eventually test your internal threshold of pain.

Pain Tolerance Each and every one of us has different levels of pain tolerance. Physically and emotionally we all have breaking points and sometimes they break when we really don’t want them to. Especially when challenges way beyond our control affect our lives. I like to be active. In the past couple of years I’ve found what workouts are comfortable and which ones push me in order for me to grow. I’m happy to face facts that I’ll never train like a prizefighter or a Marine but I love to build up a sweat and test my tolerance of just being uncomfortable in order to see what I’m capable of. With that being said I still struggle with consistency and when it comes to nutrition I still can’t seem to master the tolerance of fulfilling cravings. It’s a lot better than it used to be but a work in progress. I could go on and on with examples of this in my life and one hack I’ve learned in the past year or so is that if I am struggling with anything I can find an answer that suits me in a Youtube video…or several…. The things I have learned about investing, fitness, nutrition, dating and just levelling up overall in life have been amazing but I’m still gunshy about acting on this information because I decided that I would rather build walls of comfort (remember that ballad I penned about my living room couch?). Without action all the information in the world that you can consume that is helpful to you is irrelevant. It is merely white noise…in my own estimation decoding information and willing it into action is what is commonly referred to as ‘hustle’. Hustle is an amazing trait to have but there is also a dark side to it as well…

When is hustle harmful? There are legendary stories of ‘hustle’. Entertainers, athletes, motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists…etc….if you put the crazy amount of excess work in you will likely get to the top level of your chosen field…very few if any have changed the world from their living room couch (Couch…not you…again?! Really???) However there is a dark side to this concept that can spell out misconceptions like this…if you are not compromising your mental and physical well-being and pushing yourself to the limit working 80+ hours a week on your hustle then you’re a lazy, hapless failure….No rest for the wicked…this attitude permeates in a lot of circles but isn’t quite true Even the most trailblazing hustler needs to realize that the balance of rest and rejuvenation will save you from being completely consumed by your hustle…whatever that may be. I learned this the hard way at the end of 2020. Without spilling the gory details I ended the tumultuous year of 2020 completely burned out. If you watch my IGTV videos I explained on one broadcast that despite feeling this way my mental health had greatly improved over the previous two holiday seasons. I think when Christmas finally rolled around I intuitively realized that I needed a break. Did that mean taking a leave of absence from my job? Put my parenting duties aside? Quit producing new episodes of Unexplained Inc? None of those things…but what it showed me was that I needed time to chill and some time to play….cards, video games, it didn’t matter…I had become obsessed with working myself into the ground on a number of levels that I shut off this valve completely… It also didn’t help that my home province entered a second lockdown and the gyms I had been training hard at the previous six weeks had shut down and I couldn’t see some friendly faces around New Years. But I knew during a cold and bitter winter lockdown 2.0 I needed to rest in downtime and take my foot off the gas…albeit briefly….in fact Spirit gave me an extremely powerful reminder of this during a Shamanic healing session in early 2021…but that’s another supernatural story for another day… This is the hardest prison to break out of…because it’s comfy… Even though I was feeling the harmful effects of hustle like burnout, overeating, lack of patience and a cynical attitude rearing its head I would eventually go too far in the other direction. Once again after a brief tease of reopening we got into lockdown number three…which is inexplicably still going on… With extra time and idle hands I have to confess that I haven’t used my time outside of work all that wisely…haven’t wasted it either but more often than not I look at my surroundings and say…this needs to change…or what have I really done with myself over the past several years? When I have too much time on my hands this is when I start to go over all of the squandered opportunities in finance, career, business, dating, fitness….that have led me to this point…and recently I had to finally answer this question and start being honest with myself….when the going got tough in any of these fields I would simply choose ‘the couch’ instead of continuing…which leads me to my final point…

To Be Not Afraid To Fail As I write this section the Toronto Maple Leafs have been eliminated from the Playoffs in the first round for the fifth consecutive year. Why is this relevant? A couple of reasons…

  • This series against the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens was taking place on the heels of past series collapses in the first round with a few of the same core players still on the team.

  • After losing the first game they won three straight to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. They would proceed to completely lose control and lose the next three games in the best-of-seven series to leave themselves and their fanbase utterly stunned.

  • On paper they arguably had the better team and in a large chunk of those three losses would outplay the Canadiens and end up showing nothing positive as a result.

One could break down the analytics of the series to death but would be overlooking one major factor. Players, coaches and executives will be bombarded by local and national media in the coming days and they will be asked (in fact I saw it happen already) on whether or not their previous first-round exits affected them mentally in trying to close out this series. Star defenseman Morgan Reilly vehemently denied this claim but given the tone in his voice the question struck a nerve. I’ll argue as a fan that the Leafs couldn’t close this series out because they became afraid of failing in the present based on their playoff failures of the recent past. Nobody surrounding the team will publicly admit it…maybe they can’t out of fear of internal repercussions…hard to say..but the point I am trying to make is this… While I needed some extended rest to decompress in the winter time I extended that mindset well into the spring and now early summer. Things had just become good enough and I had unknowingly locked myself in the Big Comfy Prison because snacking on the couch watching who-knows-what for hours and sometimes days on end I lost sight of what I was trying to build up…me Shit….now that I think about it all I have done is substitute one fear for another. I let the fear of disappointment and rejection (which are natural character building blocks of life) outweigh the disappointment of letting opportunity slip through my fingers…and trust me…that feels far worse than the former…especially when you’ve done it from a prison that was too comfortable to break out of….come to think of it…I should end this here as I have some hard deadlines that need to be set…including that parole hearing with the furniture mover. Thank you for reading and pay attention to the Unexplained Inc. socials as my new blog series (featured as a guest post on on my Shamanic Journey will be making its debut soon! In closing here is a clip from the Joe Rogan Experience pinpointing exactly why you need to choose challenge over comfort in the big picture.

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