Many of us say we want a comfortable life, when most often, what we really desire is a meaningful one: We want to make a difference. We want to feel as though what we’re doing matters. We want, above all, to be seen.
We just want to achieve all that from the safety of our comfort zones. Is that so wrong?
The thing is, it’s easy to deceive ourselves into thinking it’s possible to live a life of meaning without ever having to roll up our sleeves. To convince ourselves that it’s not us, but the world that needs changing. To believe that fulfillment will find us. That we’ve earned the right to curl up under our nice, warm blankets and wait for our real lives to begin.
We won’t find fulfillment in our own backyard. We won’t stumble into it while on auto pilot. Living a meaningful life is hard work. It requires a daily committed effort to making difficult choices— ones that land us time and time again outside our comfort zones, on an uncertain path. Fulfillment demands that we have conversations we don’t want to have. It requires us to ask questions we don’t want to know the answers to. It forces us to do the hard things that don’t produce immediate results, to believe in things we can’t see and to open ourselves up in ways that leave us feeling vulnerable and exposed.
The truth is, many of us resist fulfillment deep in our bones because we’re afraid of what it requires of us.
Comfort is something very different. Comfort is our default. Comfort we don’t sacrifice. And if we’re living unhappy or unfulfilled lives, it’s because on some level it feels more comfortable that way. Somehow it’s working for us. In some way, it’s far less scary than the alternative— even if it means we’re unhappy.
So today friends, let’s remember that resistance is often a sign that we’re being pulled in a new direction. That the stronger our urge to cling to what’s comfortable, the more important it probably is to let go. That doing the hard thing will always seem scary at first, but maybe it’s actually also very necessary that we take that first step. That we push the boundaries. That we go somewhere new.
And maybe, just maybe, we might even be surprised to find a nice, warm blanket waiting for us when we get there.
And the older you get, the truer your words seem. These things come into clearer focus. And “some day” is right now, or it just ain’t gonna happen. We need to be brave, to understand that it really isn’t even about us. This is my belief: Our 80+ years are just the introduction and the preparing ground for eternity. We’re just passing through…what we do here really does matter and it does echo in eternity, but we just don’t have to hold on so tight.