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Sunday, November 9, 2014

I'll let you in on a little secret I have figured out over the years:
The happiest people I know are also the people who continually evolve.

I'll let you in on another secret:
The most boring people I have ever met are those who are continually trying to be "comfortable".

One thing that isn't a secret is how I personally feel about growth and see it as something we're meant to be in pursuit of over pretty much everything else.  I know it isn't a secret because any time I post a blog with a negative viewpoint of corporate America and being a stagnant person, I get a nasty email or two from people who have less grammatical comprehension skills than the crushed Skittle I just scraped off the bottom of my shoe.  Too much?

Coming back to reality, it took me until the age of twenty-eight to realize that I should have spent more time investing in myself when I was younger and less time trying to become comfortable in life.  I mean, that's what you're supposed to do according to...well, the details aren't important because it's just what you're supposed to do.  That whole mindset of go to school, work for a few decades and then retire and just be comfortable the whole time.  Maybe get married somewhere in the middle of that process and have a few kids running around just like someone else planned for you to do.  Hey, you kept it interesting because you made a sizable income and went on two vacations every year so you could come back and show your friends and family a bunch of pictures of the resort you stayed at which they don't care about.  Again, too much?
Don't get me wrong, I love traveling, but I like it flavored with a little more risk and adventure than tourism.

The thing is, I wanted that for so many years - the "comfortable" situation of knowing that I could go out and put on a (figurative) costume every once in a while and play the role of the interesting person who lived inside my head.  Sort of like how your dentist has a Harley he puts five hundred miles on every year and a small stockpile of leather in his closet for that one weekend when he's a biker and rides up to the mountains instead of, you know, being that person on a daily basis?  The more I think about it, the more I'm disgusted with the idea of me wanting exactly that a few years ago.  If comfort means keeping up appearances for 90% of your life, going to parties of people you don't like, putting on a tie you hate, getting into a weekly routine, and spending the other 10% trying to be something else entirely, I'm happy my perspectives have changed.

I guess I'm just getting sick of watching people crash and burn in the pursuit of comfort instead of passion.  The people who will work for companies and within industries they hate because they are promised a hefty retirement.  It breaks my heart to see the same people rush into a blinded marriage situation because they're somehow not doing society any favors by being single at nearly thirty years old - you know, not getting married because they want to, but doing so because they were told you're not a complete person without being married.  Marriage is awesome though, it's just that loads of people really, really suck at it.

You're not really supposed to take this as inspiration or anything, but if you're not happy with where you are in life, aspire to be something else, or are curious about what it means to take a different direction, do it.  I'm not saying to be irresponsible in your life choices, but if you're doing the same thing that everyone else is doing and falling into the same routines as everyone else in your office, take a second to evaluate that and see if you're actually happy.

I was talking to friend of mine earlier who escaped the corporate system like I did and he said the most enriching event in his life involved getting rid of the things he really didn't need, minimizing the impact of his financial situation, and then going all out in pursuit of his passions.  It doesn't always work and I am in the dead center of that very process right now, but it's always worth the risk.
Always.

Otherwise, you may just end up old and "comfortable" while contemplating what it would have been like if you had taken the jump to find your own definition of success.

Chasing down your passions, being in continual growth, and taking life for the adventure it is and as a product of your own identity is where you find happiness.  It's where I have found mine.

Don't let anyone tell you what you "should" be doing.
Hold the hands of those who motivate you while supporting your efforts and don't let go.
The only person who is in control of your own happiness is you.

Grace and Peace,
-Drew


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