If there’s one thing the human race is good at doing, it’s complaining about how hard life is.
I Do this (far more than I would like to admit to).
Just the other night I huffed and puffed around my daughter’s room at 2am. She’s just turned one-year-old, and isn’t sleeping all that well. I’m tired. My partner’s tired. Life is tough.
At least this is what I tell myself.
Compared to others, my life isn’t tough at all. But it is for me right now because I’m outside my comfort zone.
To not feel like bursting into tears.
I imagine life a few months from now. It will be easier then. She will sleep better. Life will be… better.
Yet you and I both know this rollercoaster well. By then, other woes will replace my current ones.
And even if life somehow does get easier, I’ll grow bored and tedious of it: lose focus, stop doing what works and begin to self sabotage.
Unhappy when life is hard.
Disatasified when it’s easy.
It reminds me of past relationships, and how I would yearn for love when single, but then daydream about the single life when in a relationship (after the initial spark fizzled and faded).
It follows me into the business world…
I love to plan a new project, strategize and create its vision. I also love to get my hands dirty and create it, but after a while it’s no longer as fun. It becomes a chore. I lose focus and begin to think of the next thing.
We trick ourselves into thinking we want a comfortable life.
I suppose it’s embedded into our DNA. For a long time all we desired was survival. A comfortable life meant a safe one. Comfort lead to survival for another day. This was the one and only aim.
Yet the world isn’t as dangerous as it once was.
Most of us don’t have to worry about lions and tigers, keeping an eye to one side for that surprising something. These days we’re not happy to merely survive; we are driven to thrive.
We don’t want to merely live.
We strive to LIVE a life worth living.
But such a life doesn’t exist inside your comfort zone.
We must venture outside and explore beyond the pale to feel truly alive. So although we may think we want a comfortable life, the fact remains that when it comes we feel uncomfortable, lost and uneasy.
We get restless.
We want to ruffle the feathers.
We shake things up, often at the destruction of the life we thought we wanted.
You know the story…
The guy or gal gets the dream job, starts a family and turns a house into a home.
They have it all.
They have what they wanted.
But then they reach an age where it no longer seems enough.
They think about the life they could have lived; they wonder ‘what if’?
And so they self destruct and self sabotage the life they worked so hard to get.
All gone… poof, just like that.
Why do some people do this?
I imagine there are many reasons, but most of the time it comes down to how comfortable, predicate and “easy” life is. There’s nothing unforseen around the corner, which makes the whole idea of living tedious.
You want to shake things up.
I see this happen in business, too. One of my clients went through this not long ago. Many of the people I interviewed for my last book did, too.
They built a successful business. They had the money and fame. They had everything they supposedly wanted. For years they dreamed of being… here.
But as soon as they got there they questioned, ‘what now?’
As soon as life got too comfortable, they felt more uncomfortable than ever.
Happiness doesn’t reside within your comfort zone. Your fear does, which is why so many of us remain inside it our entire lives.
But happiness, purpose and meaning exists beyond the pale of your comfort zone.
So I ask you to ask yourself a question right now: how comfortable are you?
If the answer is “very”, you may have reason to worry.
Because at some point you may grow tired and complacent.
(possibly to the detriment of everything you’ve worked so hard to build)
But don’t worry, as I believe we all suffer with this to some extent (meaning you’re far from alone).
The solution it to wake up and become conscious of how you feel.
Don’t wait until it becomes an unbearable worry in the back of your mind, because this is what leads people to blow up their life. Shake things up little and often, and step outside your comfort zone daily.
You don’t have to change your life to live a little.
You just need to LIVE your life and not simply exist within it.
But if we keep doing what we always have done, how can we expect anything other than for things to grow stale. I don’t think it matters how happy and content with what you have and where you are… we’re all at the mercy to this.
YOU get to choose how YOU live your life.
Like me, if you find yourself playing the victim from time to time and complaining about how hard life is, maybe it’s your inner voice trying to tell you something
Maybe you’re getting too comfortable, and it’s time to do something to freshen things up.
By doing so often, maybe it helps you focus on the more important things in life, and stops you from spiralling into a life crisis of some kind.
At the very least, maybe it will help you appreciate the life you have.
It helped me realize what I have as I rocked my little girl back to sleep at 2am …