Could You Be Setting Your Bar Too Low?
I have a lot of clients who say “I just want to be comfortable.”
It sounds like a reasonable request. It’s not greedy. It’s not asking for a lot, so what’s wrong with that?
I’m not here to tell anyone how to live or what you want, but please hear me out.
What “comfortable” looks like
“Maxine” comes into counseling for therapy because her partner is threatening to leave. Two weeks later they reconcile and the emergency is over. Nothing’s changed except the threat to split. “Gina” really wants to have a baby. She knows her partner doesn’t. Things are smooth right now, and she doesn’t want to rock the boat, so she doesn’t bring it up. Meanwhile, her biological clock is ticking.”Ethan” knows his lifestyle isn’t the healthiest and he doesn’t feel great. His doctor gave him pills to help with sleep at night. Coffee and Red Bull get him going during the day, so things are okay.Lazy Sunday mornings used to be “Jesse’s” favorite time with his partner. While they still have breakfast together, they now text each other at the table and eat while watching tv.”Ryan” got used to the covid stay-at-home work routine. He doesn’t shower or get dressed most days. Since he’s’ not dressed, he leaves the house less, socializes less, and watches more tv.
All of these people are comfortable. And the problem with comfort is that there is no reason to change anything, so growth stops. Stimulation stops.
Why Challenges Are Good For Us
A little stress challenges us. It prompts us to figure things out, have new experiences, and engage with life.Challenges make life stimulating and meaningful.
Tom Bodett said, “They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
Being comfortable just may take two of those things away. So be careful what you wish for.
Instead of wanting a relationship that is conflict free, strive for one that is vibrant, connected, and honest.
Rather than wanting to have symptoms you can live with, strive for health. Change your lifestyle so that the root cause goes away.
Life is an incredible gift that is given to each of us for a limited time only. Being comfortable means you only get to experience a tiny fraction of it. Don’t you want it all?