Contentment is dangerous.
Pursuit, Not Acquisition
We work so hard to achieve contentment. Be careful, it could be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Since the early 1900s we have been taught to pursue the three S’s of the Industrial Age; Safety, Security, and Stability. The three of them together can lead us to contentment, which at first blush seems pretty cool.
The Contentment Fence
But contentment is a kissing cousin of balance, and both of them are like sitting on a fence; you can’t stay there very long. Pretty soon you’ll either fall off or jump off, and the question is, on which side of the fence? Falling off one side begins a downward spiral to victimology. Making the decision to intentionally jump off the other side leads upward to better things, and the fourth S of the Participation Age, Significance.
How can contentment drag us down? Living in contentment (and balance) could very quickly lead to boredom, because you have no vision for how to challenge yourself to take your life to the next level. Boredom is the first step down and it breeds pessimism, doubt, worry, blame, anger, insecurity, and eventually powerlessness – I’m a victim.
If you find yourself content, the best thing to do is proactively get the heck out of there by figuring out the next challenge and chasing it with everything you’ve got. Contentment can be a great springboard to the next challenge. If you get a solid picture of the future and what you want next, then contentment will lead right into optimism, hope, powerful expectation, enthusiasm, and passion for something new.
Jump Or Fall Off
Contentment is fleeting. You are either going to fall off or have to jump off. You can fall off on the side of victimology, or you can take control of your life, and intentionally jump off on the side of chasing something worth catching.
Have you “arrived”? Are you on cruise control with your business or your life? Be careful. It won’t last, it never does. So take charge, jump off the fence, and intentionally run toward something. You won’t be content while you’re chasing it (or balanced), but that’s ok, because the joy is never in the acquisition, but in the pursuit.
A goal realized is no longer motivating.
What’s the next thing you want to pursue? Jump off the fence and go catch it.