I’m not trying to personally attack you, but if you’re comfortable, you’re probably over-rated. You’ve probably stopped growing, even if just for a short time. Comfort is over-rated and until we admit this, we will never move forward.I'm not trying to personally attack you, but if you're comfortable, you're probably over-rated. Click To Tweet
Today, we cannot simply define comfort like the dictionary does. The dictionary says comfort is, “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.” Sure, being free of pain and constraint is great. Heck, I run this blog, write eBooks and freelance for clients because I crave freedom.
However, there’s a huge problem with this simple definition of comfort. It says that if you’re comfortable, you’re free from pain. However, pain comes with just about every growth opportunity put in front of us. I want to be free, but I don’t think I truly want to be free from pain; at least not the pain that comes with growth.
We call it growing pains and it refers to those pains children feel when growing. However, we have also used the term growing pains to refer to a business, a new job and even the development of a young athlete at the professional level. Any type of growth will come with pains.
This means, if you’re comfortable, you’re over-rated because you’re not growing. You’re free from pain and constraint, but you’re not growing. You’ve stopped growing and you’re now in some comfort bubble that may include doing the exact same thing (or pretty close to it) every single day.
An Example of Modern Society’s Comfort Trick
Modern society teaches us that comfort is the goal. You have to make a certain amount of money, live in a certain size house, drive certain new vehicles and live a certain life. It doesn’t have to be glamourous, but it needs to be comfortable. You should be able to put your life on auto-pilot and go through the motions, if you follow the evil example of modern society’s teachings.
Here’s what the comfort trick from modern society looks like. I am going to use an Indiana example because that’s where I grew up.
In Indiana, the big thing for many people to do on weekends (during the summer) is go to the lake. This was what many people did, if they were fortunate to own a lake house or knew someone that did or at least had a boat. There are several popular lakes in northern Indiana to escape to and they are all very beautiful and lots of fun. However, they are used in the comfort trick, as well.
The comfort trick for those people I knew in Indiana involved spending Monday through Friday, maybe even half of Saturday, working. Then, because you put in 60+ hours and you feel like you’re entitled to a reward, you go to the lake for the weekend. Every single week, this is repeated. The lake is often a party place for adults to drink while children can play. Not exactly healthy, if you ask me.
If you are fortunate enough to have a home near the school for your kids and another cottage, trailer or home at the lake, you’ve made it and that’s good enough. This is the comfort zone many aim for.
There’s also a much cheaper, yet just as bad version that translates to all places in the country. This would easily swap out the lake on weekends for some local watering hole. You worked all week so you’re now entitled to go to the bar, drink until you want to stop (maybe have one more at this point) and come home. You might get a babysitter or you may have kids old enough that they are doing their own think.
These are tricks and traps from modern society. We are taught to fall into these traps and they are highly dangerous. Again, if you’re in one of these traps, you’re comfort is completely over-rated.No human was put on the face of the earth to plateau. Click To Tweet
No human was put on the face of the earth to plateau. We are meant to grow every step of our lives. You may stop growing physically, but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, you still have growth in you. No religion or spirituality on the face of the earth teaches that you reach a certain point and you get to stop, at least not while you’re on earth.
My wife and I see this same comfort trick at every campground we stay at. There are always seasonal or annual sites and they are often used on weekends for drinking by the fire and taking advantage of the activities and amenities.
By no means am I saying there’s something wrong with owning a lake house, going to the lake, camping on the weekends or doing something like this with your family. However, there are far too many people stuck in the rut, doing the same things over and over and they don’t know how to get out.
If you’re stuck and you feel comfortable, you’re over-rated.
Why Comfort is Over-Rated
When I first became a real Christian (more than just using the label) I met a man that had a way of living that is profound and incredibly smart. He said, if he starts to feel comfortable, it’s time for him to change and do something uncomfortable. He believed you should never truly be comfortable because as soon as you become comfortable, you stop growing.
Now, he wasn’t referring to being physically comfortable in your bed before you fall asleep or being comfortable with the home you own. He was referring to finding new, exciting ways to step out of your comfort zone. He was talking about learning more and more about the Christian faith and never thinking you know it all or even a large portion of it.
This man was incredibly humble, incredibly happy and very joyful. Every single time I saw him, he was full of energy and had a smile on his face. I believe, he had discovered one of the principles to life, which is a spin on the old “variety is the spice of life” saying.
He discovered how to be uncomfortable and constantly growing. When we grow, we are full of life and full of joy, even when it’s not easy. We grow when we become free by doing uncomfortable things. We grow when we stop chasing the modern society dream of hitting a certain level and putting things on auto-pilot.
Always Growing Doesn’t Mean Always Changing Everything
There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a house to call home and living there all your life. While you may be comfortable in your home, this isn’t the type of comfort I am referring to when I say you’re over-rated if you’re comfortable. This is just fine and for some, necessary.
Having the house figured out makes it easier to concentrate on other areas of life to grow in. Maybe you have yet to discover your true calling/passion/purpose in life. Maybe you need to grow with the way you eat. Maybe you need to grow spiritually. Maybe you need the time to read a good book and grow intellectually.Comfort is over-rated, when your life becomes boring, easy and everything is comfortable. Click To Tweet
Comfort is over-rated, when your life becomes boring, easy and everything is comfortable. When you’re not growing, you’re over-rated and you’ve basically become the zombie stuck in the line of sheeple going down that very wide open path of life.
Choose the narrow path. Choose to forge your own path. Start on a narrow path and branch off that path by creating your own path through the brush, trees and other obstacles (metaphorically, of course). Choose to live uncomfortable in some way, shape or form.
I, by no means, am telling you that every aspect of your life has to be uncomfortable. I am not telling you to sell your lake house or give up your weekend spot at the campground. Just change it up. Instead of going to the party area of the lake, go rent paddleboards for the weekend or go skiing on the water. Take some lessons if you need to, but do something different.
I remember when I waited tables and bartended. It was like clockwork with regular customers. You knew they would come in at the same time every day or once a week or whatever their odd schedule was. They would drink the same time, order the same time and go home after they were done.
I always found this sad and the people that were true regulars were lost. It was all over their face. They were lost and they didn’t know it, or maybe they did. I could always tell when they woke up because they stopped showing up. Some would go from seven-day-a-week regulars to maybe showing up once a week and eventually not much at all. Others may stop showing up altogether.
It’s comfortable to see the same people, do the same things and get stuck in the boring lifestyle modern society says is okay. It’s uncomfortable to grow and continue to grow, but that’s what we are here to do.
Whether you’re Christian, Atheist, a Buddhist or you practice another type of religion/spirituality I cannot seem to think of right now, growth is a part of the journey. Becoming the best version of yourself (borrowed from Matthew Kelly) is a part of the journey. It’s a part of every human’s journey and it doesn’t just refer to your work.
You are called to become the best father, mother, child, sister, brother, workers, neighbor, friend and all other labels you can be. It’s your calling and when you find your calling/passion/purpose in life, it will make you a better person, overall.Ditch comfort and become uncomfortable. Try new things. Take a leap of faith. Start a business. Click To Tweet
Ditch comfort and become uncomfortable. Try new things. Take a leap of faith. Start a business. Go back to school. Change your life and become uncomfortable. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much joy, happiness and love comes into your life when you step out of your over-rated comfort zone.