Why do we do what we do? Why do we strive at work, in our businesses, in our careers?
For many of us, we work hard in order to make life comfortable not only for ourselves but also our families.
You have probably heard this before, “I work hard because I don’t want my children to go through the hardships I went through and I want them to live comfortable lives.” This is especially true for the baby boomers (those born in 1946-1964) and those belonging to Generation X (1965-1976) whose children are Millennials or Post-Millennials.
But oftentimes, comfort and convenience rob us (and our families) of the challenges we need to grow, the hardships we need in order to mature, the difficulties that will ignite our desires to do better and to take risks. Many times, they rob us of the discomfort and inconvenience we need to experience in order to empathize with those who are living in constant discomfort and inconvenience.
They make us believe that life really should be comfortable and convenient. And so, at the first sign of discomfort or inconvenience, many of us break. Many of us quit our jobs or abandon our pursuit of our dreams. Because we didn’t experience hardships or difficulties, Millennials (like myself) and Post-Millennials even feel entitled to easy and comfortable lives.
When you think about it, doing remarkable work isn’t convenient or comfortable. So is helping others. Or making a difference. Or growing a business. Or selling a product. Or creating art. Or getting promoted. Or even building relationships. Nothing worth our time is.
Maybe our goal shouldn’t be achieving comfort and convenience for ourselves and our families. Even when helping those in need, maybe our objective shouldn’t be in helping them live comfortable lives. Maybe our goal should be making a contribution and helping and equipping others to do the same. When people contribute something to society, they add value. And when they add value, the system rewards them. (And God also finds a way to reward their generosity.)
Maybe our vision for our lives shouldn’t be about the lifestyle we want to live, but about the difference we want to make.
And maybe we shouldn’t strive to remove the discomfort and inconveniences in our lives. Instead, maybe we should learn to dance, to strive, and to grow in their midst.