The Comfortable Life

The state of being called comfort is my enemy. It is a warm blanket wrapped around me, lulling me to sleep. It is a cocoon that keeps me separated from the world and all the dangers and glories of reality.

It is known by many names: Procrastination, Leisure, Apathy. I love and loathe it at the same time. Comfort is a middle ground where you do the exact same things in the exact same way. You simply exist, taking each day as it comes and never looking forward unless forced to do so. And the most interesting thing of all, is that even stressful, hectic, unhappy living can become comfortable if you let it.

I have to force myself to be uncomfortable in order to accomplish anything. Even to write, or work on school I can’t be in my apartment. The temptations of the comfort objects and activities around me is too great. Applying for college, or a new job is a huge step outside my comfort zone. Becoming a professional is an intimidating prospect. Am I doing it right? What if I do something wrong? What if I don’t appear competent to others? I would much rather sit in my comfortable retail job and simply exist.

Some people are never comfortable, and I envy them. They are always seeking out new and exciting things or traveling to exotic places. But I think these same people hold the key to breaking out of the comfort zone of my life. Surrounding yourself with exciting people who are active, imaginative, and supportive can lift you out of the funk of a comfortable life and propel you in a new direction.

Are the people in your life enablers of your apathy? Do you surround yourself with those that support your endeavors or that mock those who try to make more of themselves? Put yourself in positions of discomfort. Make friends with those who challenge and inspire you. And most importantly, get off your butt and go do something!!

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S*** Colored Glasses

When I took my required psychology course a few years back my professor told a story about a man he said had “shit-colored glasses.” He told this story to emphasize the idea that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it. By having this disgustingly skewed and tinted view of the world and everything that happened to him, the man with the shit colored glasses reacted negatively to whatever came his way. Always taking the pessimistic side and reflecting on the worst aspects of situations, his life reflected the nature of the lense through which he saw the world. In other words: it was shitty.

Now the opposite of this extreme, the more commonly recognized “rose-colored glasses”, is descriptive of someone who always sees the good in everything and is overly optimistic. They think things are more pleasant than they really are. While this type of outlook on life is not as destructive as the former one, it can still be dangerous. If you don’t take into account the negatives in life you can never adequately prepare for them. If you are constantly overlooking the flaws and bad things in your relationships you can become trapped and ignorant of the greater truth.

So what color of glasses do you see life through? are you always focusing on the negative and reacting in detrimental ways? Are you too optimistic and don’t take decisive action when needs call for it? Obviously most people fall somewhere in between these two categories, but I think it is good to bring to mind every now and then the fact that our attitude towards and reactions to life have a huge impact on our happiness and the outcome of our lives here on earth.

Just a Quick Thought…

I just thought I’d make a quick post about a thought I had while watching It’s a Wonderful Life.” The message that the movie carries is really quite foreign to modern audiences isn’t it? Here you have George Bailey, a man who all his life has wanted to travel the world and do big, important things. And yet life, and his own conscience keep him in his hometown of Bedford Falls, seemingly trapped in his average existence.

Now the modern sentiment in movies is to “follow your dreams” or “be yourself.” Can you imagine how different a movie it would have been if George had said screw you to Bedford Falls and gone on his world tour? If he had followed the advice of today’s mass media, or your average Disney TV movie he would have left to become an architect like he planned.

Instead George put his family first. He thought of others before himself and did what was right by his community. Everything in his life that he thought he would do ended up changing over time. Naturally he is bitter over this at first, but if you have seen the movie (Spoilers for a 66 year old movie!!) you know that he finds an appreciation for the life he has been blessed with, not the life he could have had. How different than the modern idea! By putting his principles and those he cared for above himself George achieved happiness equal to if not greater than he had imagined.

May we all remember to keep our priorities straight, and not be so caught up in ourselves. Though our plans for the future might not always come to pass and we can’t always get the things we think we want, we shouldn’t let regret or selfishness blind us to the wonderful life right in front of us.