Let's start off this week's party with a generalization I've derived from my observations of people and their approach to life. Everyone has something they're working toward, whether it be social status, a certain position in their career, or possession of certain material goods. What do all of these things have in common? They bring a certain degree of comfortability. Obviously, who would want to be uncomfortable? The problem with being comfortable, or too comfortable, rather, is that we become complacent with our current situation and lose the drive to keep pushing forward, a drive that is often fueled by discomfort.
No one likes being inconvenienced or uncomfortable, I get it. I once took a Rutgers LX bus all the way around the campuses just to get from one end of College Ave to the other just because I didn't want to walk in the rain. OK, maybe it was more than once and maybe there was no rain. My point is, that we are all, even at the most basic levels working towards being comfortable. While the thought of lacking comfort may be unsettling, there's a certain beauty to not being exactly where you want to be. When you are uncomfortable with something — your job, your grades, your friends, your appearance — you create a disparity between your current position and the one you aspire to be in. This becomes the driving force that propels us towards actively bettering ourselves and our situations.
When we achieve goals it's easy to lose steam and chalk up that period of time where we do absolutely nothing to the idea that "oh yes, after all this hard work, I've earned this". Don't get me wrong, you have earned this. The thing is, we know that this is seldom how it goes. It's like sitting down with some cookies you know you probably shouldn't be eating. You justify yourself by saying you'll just have one but who are we kidding? You blink and suddenly the box is empty and all you have are the crumbs on your fingers and the meaningless justifications dripping from your mouth. The second you get a taste of that comfort, you're addicted, hooked, and pretty soon you find yourself riding on an accomplishment you made years ago with nothing new to show for yourself. Yes, by all means, treat yo' self! Take a break! But, more importantly, know the difference between taking a short break and taking an extended vacation.
Achieving something you've been working toward is incredibly satisfying. You're high on dopamine and, likely, exhausted from the effort it took to make it there. Even with new goals in mind, it's easy to get sidetracked until you're drowning in your own excuses as to why you haven't gotten back up again. Perhaps you didn't set the right goals or maybe you really did just get lost in the abyss of comfort. Working towards the right goals should ensure that you are actively working, even with a few small breaks in between. This all comes down to you: the genuineness and true desires behind your goals, your self-control and your ability to be honest with yourself. Only you have control over your choices and actions and, in the end, the only person really being affected by this is you.
It's kind of funny how one of the things we work for can be the key to our very undoing. OK, maybe "undoing" was a bit dramatic, but you get the point. Since everyone seems to love dogs so much (sorry, cat lovers), I'll leave you with a cute dog analogy. Put a dog on a self-activated moving belt. Lil Fido will likely have no motivation to start walking unless, like in the cartoons, you position a bone in front of him to walk towards. Once he gets the bone, what reason would he possibly have to keep walking?