Our culture’s pursuit of comfort is nearly pathological.
We sit on soft chairs in front of 60-inch TVs, snacks at hand to stave off the first hints of hunger. Our homes and cars are climate-controlled to our individual tastes. Compact fluorescent or LED lighting ensures every corner is brightly lit at night so we don’t have to strain our eyes. Every building with more than two levels has an escalator or an elevator to protect us from the inconvenience of stairs. Everything we touch is ergonomically designed to provide maximum benefit for minimum effort.
Most of it’s good. I can’t complain about my expensive bed or my comfortable car. But it becomes a problem when the pursuit of comfort becomes more important than the pursuit of achievement.
I’m not talking about needing rest. Heaven knows most of us need more rest than we get.
I’m not talking about squeezing more work into the day, either. Most of us spend more hours working than we should.
I’m talking about relevance. We crave relevance the way we crave healthy food–often without even knowing what it is we need, or how to get it.
We spend our days working toward someone else’s dreams, and by the end of the day we are so spent we stagger home and fall into the refuge of our comfortable chairs and the distraction of our big-screen TVs. A neverending parade of sports and reality TV helps to take our minds off our imperfect lives.
Good thing, too, because when we don’t have that distraction, we start to notice how sad our lives are. Sad because they don’t seem to have any meaning beyond working to make money co we can afford more comforts. And many of us, when the pursuit of money is gone and only the comforts remain, give up on life entirely.
Our pursuit of comfort breaks our hearts.
How many of us, given the chance, would spend an hour of the time we might spend watching TV each night working toward our own dreams instead? Would it be worth not knowing who got eliminated to be able to hold the product of your work at the end of a year?
It’s hard to chase our own dreams. It’s terrifying to think of the number of hours we might put into the chase with no guarantee of success at the end. It’s so much easier, so much more comfortable, to help somebody else chase their dreams. Let them take the risk, and share what rewards there are with those of us who helped.
But the comfortable way is not the way to relevance. And you don’t need anybody’s permission to turn off the TV for an hour and chase your own dream.
What would you do if you could chase your own dream? Share it with us in the comments!