Tersely stated, Lent is about sin. It is a 40 day period in which we as Christians examine our lives and attempt through fasting, alms giving and prayer to separate ourselves from the clutches of sin. We become purified and prepared for the Death and the Resurrection. Christ did it, and 2,000 years later, we do it.
And for 2,000 years Christians have done it, and did it better than we in the West (I'm excluding the Latin South) do it now. Today, we have almost a full litany of excuses not to be serious during Lent, discomfort being the one I hear most oft cited by my friends and family (and by myself). But that's the point, to experience discomfort. Consider a litmus test for what you should be giving up and doing during Lent.
Lent reminds us that Christ is near us always. Lent gives us the opportunity to really say 'I am a serious Christian' through the discomforts and sacrifices. Remember that the next time you're thinking that the mandatory Ash Wednesday fast seems just a little too 'difficile'.