Life’s Joys Are Found in Adventure
Comfort. It’s one of the biggest driving forces behind human motivation, and it’s mostly accepted by society as an acceptable motivator. People will go to great lengths — even harmful ones — in order to feel comfortable. If something or someone makes a person feel the slightest hint of discomfort, that person will likely shut themself off to or reject the cause of his or her discomfort. Yet if we open ourselves up — rather than shut ourselves off — to new and different experiences, people, places, we can experience a level of joy far beyond a pleasant sense of familiarity.
Change is scary, as we can’t predict the future. Yet change can also be exciting. Rather than always looking back over our shoulders, we need to work on focusing more on what lies ahead. We need to take the lessons we’ve learned from the past and carry them with us to the future. We need to learn how to be brave — to hold our head up, push our shoulders back, look at the blank slate in front of us, and say, “Bring it.” Rest assured, life will bring it, whatever it may be, whether we like it or not.
“Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci
Being open to discomfort can be the key that opens up new doors. We’ve all heard the saying that when one door closes, another door opens. The quote has been used in literature in various ways over time, from Cervantes, who wrote in the novel Don Quixote: “When one door is shut another is opened,” to German writer Jean Paul, who wrote: “When one door closes another always opens, but we usually look so long, so intently and so sorrowfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened.”
Although we have the tendency to longingly look behind us, wishing for that old familiar feeling, we have no choice but to keep moving forward. Sometimes we try to plant ourselves firmly in place and life shoves us forward, despite our futile attempt to stand still. We often tend to picture any new path in front of us as being dark and full of thickets and thorns, with predators lurking in every corner, their glowing eyes watching us approach until they finally attack us. We picture the worst and hold ourselves back to protect ourselves. What could also happen, however, is that we could walk down the new path and end up in a place of splendor and excitement, with beautiful scenery and full of warm embraces.
How many times have you taken a vacation and been pleasantly surprised by what you have seen? Whether it’s a mountain, a waterfall, a beach, or a desert, seeing a new sight is always enriching to the senses. Stagnancy can be dangerous and growth-inhibiting, in nature and in our lives. Sure, we all need to rest and recover, but if we fail to move forward, and instead choose to remain in one place, we are simply existing, and we are surely missing out.
As a collective group, humanity desperately tries our hardest to make life function smoothly, but it rarely ever does. Life is full of bumps and bruises. When human error intervenes with processes already in place, people tend to get frustrated, which is understandable. Yet sometimes those processes are fundamentally flawed, and rather than change them, people tend to stick with them. The change, however positive it may end up being, will most likely not occur without a fight. The result, however, can end up being well worth the struggle.
One of the greatest things about going through a challenge is that it makes people stronger. People who struggle should be proud of what they have learned and overcome, knowing that they are now braver and stronger. Challenges and pain are not always pleasant, but they often change us for the better and prepare us better than ever before for whatever life throws our way.
Trailblazers are often met with resistance and seen as negative, but time tells a different story. The biggest changes in society have been made by those who challenged the status quo. If people see room for improvements, should they quietly keep to themselves, rather than shake things up? Should they comply with those who fight change out of fear, even if they know that change will change things for the better? Perhaps people need to try to move with the tides, rather than trying to force the waves in a certain direction.
Life is so much more than a state of consciousness wrapped in flesh. Life is a complex myriad of experiences. We should work on experiencing more, not less. We need to continually move forward in order to flourish. We need to open the door, step outside, face our fears, and see where our lives take us. We may stumble as we move down the path, but we will get back up! When life brings it, whatever it may be, we should be ready for it, because life is an adventure. Get out there and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.