On most nights, I call and talk to my wife on my way home from the gym.
While talking last night, she asked me what I was going to eat for supper and I told her - chicken. I told her that I needed to punish myself.
Yes, eating that bland chicken breast was pretty much a punishment.
Initially, I said I needed to punish myself just to be funny. It wasn't until she confusedly asked why I needed to punish myself that I decided I actually do think it's good to "punish yourself" from time to time. Even when it is not deserved.
Everyone wants to experience comfort and satisfaction, and some people think they should have it all the time.
That's just not realistic.
In fact, in order to experience the highest levels of comfort and satisfaction, you must have times of discomfort and dissatisfaction.
The more I interact with people day to day, the more I conclude that everything is truly about balance.
The most important example of balance may be our very own home. Earth resides in the "goldilocks zone". If we were any further away from the sun, we would freeze up. If we were any closer, we would boil. We are able to exist because we are just the right distance from the sun.
Everything in existence needs to have balance, even your actions.
You cannot take take take take take. You have to give just as much as you take. If you don't replace your takes with gives, your life will be out of balance.
A person who only talks about themself is a taker, and they will sap the life right out of you. A person who is conversational with you is both a taker and a giver, and offers you a balanced interaction.
A person who is overly negative is out of balance.
A person out for their own self interests only does not have balance.
A person who complains more than they compliment is out of balance.
A person who only bench presses, nothing else, does not have balance.
A person unwilling to get outside of their comfort zone (as it relates to this post, punish themself) is out of balance.
Not every day of your life will be enjoyable. Some of your days will be miserable. Every meal you eat will not be satisfying. Sometimes you need to visit Drew's kitchen for a flavorless chicken breast.
If you apply some discomfort to your own life, the times of comfort have the potential to be so much greater.
To be clear, I'm not saying to go out of your way to make yourself significantly suffer, or to mistreat yourself in a way that will deteriorate you mentally or physically.
I am saying that giving yourself a dose of controlled displeasure every now and again will condition you to better deal with inconveniences that come your way.