I want to be happy, but I don’t think I want to be satisfied. I want to experience a resilient and wonderfully endearing sense of contentment that neatly threads itself through every part of my soul, but I don’t want that contentment to morph into the baser mentality of complacency. I want to keep a weathered eye on every horizon, but I want to do more than just watch those horizons from some sorry distance. I don’t want to contemplate a journey, I want to be completing journeys.
I want to robustly celebrate the achievements and vigorously revel in the milestones in a manner completely worthy of them, but I never want to fall to the bane of mediocrity that would prompt me to see them as a terminus. I want to develop a sturdy confidence born of the advances made, and I want to have that confidence perpetually reinforced by the successes achieved. Yet, I pray that my failures will serve to always temper that confidence so that it never turns to rot in the form of arrogance. And in further managing this tempered confidence, I never want it to be so strong that I errantly assume any challenge as too small to be worthy of my time. I want to be happy, but I don’t think I want to be satisfied.
For whatever reason I might do it and in whatever way I might do it, I never want to hand myself excuses to round the next summit instead of scaling it. I never want to slothfully presume the ability to achieve a goal without holding myself accountable to actually getting on the track and running the race. And I suppose worst of all, I never want to scan my assorted array of trophies, whether they be numerous or few, and in the scanning embrace some languid sense born of complacency that somehow it is done and I can hang up my hat, when in reality life is never done.
Why Do I ‘Never Want’ to Do These Things?
Laziness is humanity domesticated to its own destruction. Mediocrity is life pent up in the very iron-clad cages that we create out of the misguided notion that an ‘adventure’ is a product of those misty-eyed idealists who expend their lives chasing dreams too elusive to catch. Therefore, we create dreams that we can cage so that they simply can’t elude us, and in their captivity we can manage them so that, God forbid, they never manage us. And what we forget is that a dream caged is nothing more than an anemic, pasty-white wish that is always in the process of dying.
Yet, we are made for more than all of that. Our humanity yearns for the next adventure. We desire lofty summits and finish lines that tax the whole of our energies in order to get us there. There is inherent within us this incessant sense that where we are is not where we’re going, and that to park it wherever we’re at is to start dying in that very place. There is some fixed notion in our psyche and some insistent voice in our souls that will not be silenced and cannot be appeased. These call out, and in the calling out they call us out.
Sadly, in light of the calling we too often surrender to fear and we sell-out to apathy. We foolishly peddle our resources and pawn off our talents to lesser things so that we can hold up some small, pithy achievement to offset the gnawing guilt we experience over bypassing the greater achievements that were our call before we were called away. Sure we achieved something, but in doing so we stepped down instead of stepping up. And these realities create a grinding angst within us that will not be soothed by anything but heeding the call from which we’ve run.
What to Do?
Decide to Do Something
As obvious as it may sound, the first thing to do is decide to do something. Without the decision to do something, anything and everything is only an idea. An idea, regardless of how ingenious or bold changes nothing until it is birthed as a reality. The greatest ideas will only tickle our imagination, but they won’t fire it until they are released. And it is the sad reality that most of our ideas die without ever having been birthed as realities.
Decide If You’re Going to be Brave
An idea as only an idea and nothing more than an idea is safe. As ideas and ideas only, they’re manageable. They’re domesticated. We hold them within the safe confines of our minds and our imaginations, toying with them as time permits and returning them to those confines when it does not. But cut the reigns and turn an idea loose, and it may not be as manageable and domesticated as we might like it to be. So, are we brave enough for the ride that is certain to ensue?
Decide How Important Comfort and Familiarity Are
Unleash your ideas and things will never be the same; guaranteed. Things will change when great ideas are unleashed because they can’t help but change. Yet the degree of change rests on the magnitude of the idea being released, and the degree to which we unleash it. And if we prefer familiarity and the comfort that it engenders, we might never let an idea loose, or we may well attempt to cram it back into the confines we released it from after we’ve unleashed it. At best, the ideas are hamstrung. At worst, they perish.
Get the Resources
If you’ve decided that you want to do something, if you’re sufficiently brave to do it, and if you’re willing to forgo familiarity and comfort in the pursuit of it, then get the resources that you need to make it happen. Real resources. This is not about thin and pasty resources, nor is it about material that’s been worn thin. It’s not about sugary-sweet notions or trite sayings that are fun and fanciful, but are shallow and porous.
Rather, this is about finding bold, honest, timely, daring, frank, deep and brisk material that will thrust you out beyond the confines you saw as the terminus of your dreams. Find resources that are unforgiving in helping you grow, reliable in content, proven in substance, and thick in wisdom. Learn from trusted people who have been there and back who have likewise taken other people there and back. Grab these resources, let them grab you, and then rigorously apply them. When you do, you will start the process of placing yourself in a position to begin heeding the call of great things.