We should periodically cause ourselves to experience discomfort that we
could easily have avoided. We might accomplish this by underdressing for
cold weather or going shoeless. Or we might periodically allow ourselves to
become thirsty or hungry, even though water and food are at hand, and we
might sleep on a hard bed, even though a soft one is available.
A person who periodically experiences minor discomforts will grow
confident that he can withstand major discomforts as well, so the prospect
of experiencing such discomforts at some future time will not, at present,
be a source of anxiety for him. By experiencing minor discomforts he is
training himself to be courageous.
The person who, in contrast, is a stranger to discomfort, who has never”
been cold or hungry, might dread the possibility of someday being cold and
hungry. Even though is now physically comfortable, he will likely experience
mental discomfort - namely, anxiety with respect to what the future holds in
store for him.