TotW: Challenges

I just realized that a project I have been involved with for a while is very comfortable, and that I tend to be the one bringing tension to it, as a way to challenge myself, and as a side effect, the other people who do the project with me. How do you challenge yourself?

Of course, just being an anarchist is a challenge, especially if you're doing it right. Rejecting almost every single thing around us as part of a fundamentally fucked up system, trying to not participate, and find ways to work around it without dying or suffering (more) is a big challenge, though there are escape hatches (times when we take a break, try something else, hang out with other people, whatever). And for most (probably), being an anarchist is also comfortable, at minimum you've chosen who to hang out with, what websites to frequent, what insults to sling, how to judge others who are not up to your standards, etc.

What does the tension between comfort and tension look like for you and yours? Comfort and tension can come from anything, I think... but probably comfort mostly involves doing things that you know how to do and have done before, whereas tension tends to be newer, harder, more difficult to think through, think about, etc.

But comfort can be uncomfortable too. I know someone who feels shame about reading romance novels. People here have given shit to people for watching hollywood blockbuster movies. I probably watched way too many cop shows for my own inner well being.

Less interested in the details of what you do/don't do (OP SEC! ;) ) and more about the why, what makes it work for you, and what you think about it, what your circles think about it, do you have to protect yourself from judgement, how have you done that...

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i don't challenge myself, or i least i don't see it that way.
when i take on a task i want to do, that poses a level of resistance or difficulty, i take it for granted that there's an inherent friction, opposing force, labor, physical and mental/emotional exertion in anything/everything i do, varying in degrees.
the curiosity, the outcome, or the thing in itself is the reason to do it.

for example, if i want to become physically fit or eat more healthy, i don't do for the challenge, although it might be challenging to keep up with a fitness program or diet, but i don't do it for the challenge, but for the health benefits. some people might do it for the challenge, pushing their performance to the peak of their abilities.

what about an anarchist example? i find that there are many instances in which doing "the anarchist thing" is actually easier , more comfortable, more easygoing and more pleasant than what the authoritarian or status quo equivalent would be. for example: not voting, not engaging in rat-race of greediness or socio-economic ladder-climbing, not playing politics. for some anarchists anti-work, play and laziness is central part of being anarchic, or at least in their discourse.

games have a way of posing challenges in a way that is very enticing, and even addicting, so much so that some have taken on the challenge of "gameifying" the economy. but a game, or playfulness, could be anything, like for example finding the fun in being contrarian, looking for faults in arguments, finding ways to subvert and go against the grain of everyday things for fun and not for any ultimate purpose, in this way, a challenge can be taken for fun, not for its result, and much less out of a notion of self-improvement or "hardship that purifies the anarchist soul" becoming lighter after enduring the purgatory of the super-ego chastising it with self-criticism and self-discipline.

as a separate question, how do i protect myself from judgement?
by not sharing all my ideas and thoughts with everyone and through anonymity online.
by evading and disrupting policing and surveillance you protect yourself and others from judgment in trial.
this is challenging as well.

It's just to not moralize yourself and others about being too slack. It's good to set ourselves challenges and goals as it not only makes us stronger in the long run, but gives us focus in life.

You have the whole laziness argument topsy-turvy. Laziness is a Western capitalist construct. Anti-lazy shares its repugnant ethic with the work ethic, Before land ownership people didn't work, they lazed around gathering food and having fun.
Laziness is fun. Alarm clocks should be abolished!

That's an interesting perspective. I do know that a whole lot of guilt rides on the "lazy" label, and at work I've had bad bosses throwing the lazy accusation whenever the production line slowed down.

"Before land ownership people didn't work, they lazed around gathering food and having fun."

uh, that's a rather misleading assertion. i am proud of being lazy, it is a core principle (despite the fact that i have built at least 3 dwellings to live in with my own hands, materials and tools). and there were pre-civilized peoples that had abundant leisure time. but that is not the case across the board, at all. don't whitewash human history with such a broad brush.

Challenges will come no matter what. Thinking one needs to artificially bring tension to a relationship for the sake of a challenge strikes me as arrogant, as if the person doing this knows what the other people need. It seems like a recipe for a disaster of unintended consequences.
Not that I'm against tension, one needs a bit of it in order to not be completely ineffectual. I just believe the tension, the challenges, will arise in due course, no need to push the river, as it were.

is not artificial to another. one person wanting things to go in a difficult direction sooner than another person is just a subjective thing, right?

curious that you're tacitly positing a standard when these things are absolutely subjective.

are you bringing tension solely to provoke a challenge? or are you challenging yourself (& others) and the tension is merely a byproduct?

I guess I feel a difference between bringing up an honest, challenging point or new direction, (the latter) and playing devil's advocate, just for the sake of provoking a reaction (the former).

To me, one of these is artificial, or biting off more than one can chew.

to 12:30 i think either is welcome (or neither depending on specifics and context. what is the topic and the opinions we're talking about? are we among close friends or hostile strangers, is the provocation and the tension a tiring routine or a refreshing break from one?

it can be a challenge to break out of a rut, a stale routine, stagnation, but sometimes that looks like making an effort to relax and be more easygoing, to let go of stress and self-imposed pressures, other times it looks like pushing yourself and others out of your comfort zone and engaging in confrontation.

Sure, all those stipulations are relevant. My original comment was in response to the OP stating they were in a group they were comfortable in and so prodding people in that situation, to my mind, is best done with care. (Assuming they'd like to keep the relationship intact. )

are appreciative of the energy and motivation that can come from someone coming up with new ideas or encouraging people to try new things.

your biases are shwoing.

I do try to never assume. You know what happens when you assume. But again, you shift the wording, "coming up with new ideas" or "encouraging people to try new things" is not the same as "bringing tension to it, as a way to challenge" someone.

And yes, I am biased toward taking care of the feelings of my friends.

a challenge is an obstacle that taunts and goads you
that's why it's commonly said that you "beat the challenge"
challenges are all about revenge

Yes! I live in my truck w/camper shell and it's just SOOOO Terrible. I don't know HOW I go ON. . .
(back of hand to thrown back forehead in melodramatic gesture).

really? so fixing the brake line on my truck, which is both challenging and fulfilling (as a diy project) to me, is rooted in revenge? meh...

hey, this is just one way to look at it, i was just bringing tension to it, prodding, provoking, challenging you

i never did understand the extent to which people get "bored". i have never been bored in my life, other than listening to some people talk. there is far too much of interest to me in this world, things i love doing, creating, destroying, discussing, playing, etc. and then there is ... sleeping.

Yeah just thinking about stuff, boredom is never upon me, except like you say listening to people talking badly,

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