If you try this comfort challenge, please share your experience in the comments below! I’d love to read them. It’s always a hilarious and valuable exploration of getting more comfortable with discomfort.
Here is the original text of the challenge from The 4-Hour Workweek:
My friend Michael Ellsberg invented a singles event called Eye Gazing. It is similar to speed dating but different in one fundamental respect—no speaking is permitted. It involves gazing into the eyes of each partner for three minutes at a time. If you go to such an event, it becomes clear how uncomfortable most people are doing this. For the next two days, practice gazing into the eyes of others—whether people you pass on the street or conversational partners—until they break contact.
1. Focus on one eye and be sure to blink occasionally so you don’t look like a psychopath or get your ass kicked.
2. In conversation, maintain eye contact when you are speaking. It’s easy to do while listening.
3. Practice with people bigger or more confident than yourself. If a passerby asks you what the hell you’re staring at, just smile and respond, “Sorry about that. I thought you were an old friend of mine.”