We're So Comfortable that We're Miserable

I think Western culture has things backwards. We equate comfort with happiness, and now we’re so comfortable that we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our life, no sense of adventure. I’ve found that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain and I’m struggling for high achievement. In that struggle, I think there’s a magic.

Unless you’re pushing yourself, you’re not living to the fullest. You can’t be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven’t pushed hard enough. If you look at successful people and happy people, they fail a lot, because they’re constantly trying to go further and expand.

- Dean Karnazes, 44-year-old ultrarunner and six-time winner of the 199-mile Saturn Relay Ultra (and the first and only person to run a marathon to the South Pole in running shoes) writing in Outside January 2007.