“Humans are designed to seek comfort an order, and if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn’t all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want something better”
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
I was half way through Donald Miller’s book (pg. 100) when I read those words above. I found them to be both haunting and eye-opening. They’re haunting, because I’ve been in this exact scenario for many years, and eye-opening, because it finally feels like the root cause to one of my primary struggles has been revealed.
I find it extremely easy to put off making a change when I’m comfortable or complacent in my current situation. I’ve been struggling with making a career change for many years. I currently work in Information Technology, but my preference is to work with people, rather than with hardware, software, and systems. I’ve wanted to make a change for several years, but I’ve made minimal progress. Often, weeks or months go by without me having done one thing to move closer to a new career. I know what I’d like to be doing, but I find it easy to put off taking action, primarily because my current situation isn’t all that bad. It’s comfortable enough to keep me from taking decisive action toward bringing about the career change I desire.
I knew this, to a certain degree, about myself, and could observe this scenario in my own life. However, reading Miller’s words, that so clearly articulate this concept, it felt like a harsh slap or glass of cold water thrown in my face. As if my mind was screaming, “He’s describing you!”
After reading those words, I’ve been keenly aware when I’m letting comfort and complacency chart my course. It gets me fired up, because I can’t think of a single time in my life when I was driven by comfort and complacency, that it ever led me anywhere significant.
How about you? Are there any areas in your life where you’re actions, or lack of actions, are being driven by the desire to maintain comfort and order? Is the desire for comfort and order taking you where you really want to go in life? If you’re struggling in this area, join me in taking the following actions:
- When you feel yourself being motivated by the desire to maintain comfort, acknowledge it. Call it out right there on the spot and say, “I’m not letting comfort chart my course any longer!”
- Think about the next step you need to take toward a goal or path you’ve set.
- Take that next step. It doesn’t matter how small a step it is; take it!
- Repeat the process as often as necessary
I don’t think we were designed to live lives that were above all, comfortable. I think we’re at our best when we’re growing, improving, and pursuing the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
Decide today to stop letting comfort keep you from pursuing a remarkable, fulfilling life. All you have to lose is the discomfort of being comfortably stuck.