The Currency of Progress.

Tomasz Deren
3 min readJun 15, 2021


A reflection on what's holding us back.

Embrace discomfort.

Thoughts matter. Our interpretation of these spiraling brain waves is a window into how we view our place on this piece of dirt. Unfortunately, brutal self-reflection is often missing or forcibly removed from the toolkit of the modern western soul.

Everything we desire is often acquired within seconds, minutes or hours from the moment we desire it. Want to watch the latest brain sucking version of “reality”? Turn on Netflix. Want to go on a date? Swipe right 300 times and you’re bound to find some other floating soul looking for your affection that evening. Want to impress other humans? Take out a loan and buy something you can’t afford because normalized extravagance might be the ticket to happiness.

As modern humans we are losing our direction. The pursuit of learning, struggle and concentrated effort have been replaced by a zombie like desire to be comfortable and avoid staring in to the eyes of failure with any regularity. I have been trying to understand human nature for a long time, and this includes my own. I always like to believe that people actually want to work, take on challenges and most importantly think for themselves. While this romantic image often gives me hope, one quick pit stop in the cesspool that is social media makes this reflection difficult to correlate with reality. We have become a culture that criticizes others for being successful rather than looking internally at ourselves and our own paths. The wasted effort of trying to explain why we CANT do what others are doing instead of focusing on what we can control is a massive weight on the forward progress of our generation.

The truth is that honest self-reflection is uncomfortable. It requires you do admit you may not be living up to your potential, you may be wasting time and most importantly you might not be the person you think you are, masked behind your modern must have accoutrement.

With every stumble there is always a path to redemption.

The pursuit of anything physical has always been a refuge that has helped me from slipping into the modern fog of ambivalent comfort. Fitness is naked. It does not favor a certain type of person, you cannot purchase it and most importantly it does not come to those who wish it. Consistent effort is the currency and this nondiscriminatory quality is what makes the pursuit of the physical a metaphor for how we should live our lives. It is forced self-reflection. Raw truth in its purest form.

Those who do not put the work in must face the reality that they are their own puppet master. The responsibility falls squarely on the pursuer of success and nowhere else, no matter how hard we try to find a scape goat. This level of exposure can be difficult for many and as such they sink back into the fog of finger pointing and the comforts of the modern wasteland.

Those that continue their pursuit, falling down and getting back up, are rewarded with a greater understanding of their own potential. Confidence grows from overcoming adversity and the pursuit of fitness is one such tool available to all of us.

With a world full of distraction, we must challenge the status quo and find personal growth in the puzzle of life. From becoming a better husband or wife to taking care of the one body we’ve been given, there are countless opportunities to open our eyes, face our fears and grow as human beings.

Consistent effort yields extraordinary results.




Tomasz Deren

Pursuer of Fitness / Co-Founder of Stone City Strength and Wellness / Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at the Royal Military College of Canada