I hope that your life is satisfying and rewarding, that you are content with yourself and what you are doing. But beware of mistaking contentment for acceptance. A passive acceptance of what you have is sometimes harder to spot when things are going well than when times are tough. It can sneak up on you when you’re not on guard, and ultimately it can be more harmful than on obvious obstacle.
It’s what I call the “boiled frog dinner”. You know that old joke: how do you boil a live frog? If you fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil, and throw a frog in it, the frog will jump out, right? But if you fill the pot with water, put it on the stove, and put the frog in it, he’ll just swim around and be happy. Then you turn on the heat, but very low, so that the water gets hotter, but very, very slowly. If you do this carefully enough, the frog gets accustomed to the heat by degrees, and before you know it you have boiled frog for dinner.
That pot is a comfort zone that many of us find ourselves cooking in. That is, we get ourselves into a situation by degrees. You’ve found yourself a better job than you had before and you are appreciated at work. Or your old friends get jobs and get busy, and some of them move away, so you talk to them less and less because, well, your life has changed and their lives have changed.
Or you get into a relationship with someone who’s not so bad, and you see your friends less and less, and you stop going to the gym so often, and you stop taking that class that you were taking. Then the relationship goes down the tubes and you’re depressed, so you still don’t go to the gym, or take that class, or see your old friends. You just sit simmering in your pot until one day you wake up and realize you’re totally cooked. Your life isn’t what you want it to be, and you don’t see any way to get out of it or change it.
So even if you’re not feeling that divine dissatisfaction, keep looking for new things to do, new ways to do them, and new people to enjoy them with. Change is constant, and the only thing you can do about it is to make sure that it is constantly in the direction that you want it to go.
One thing to remember is that you’re not going to stop growing just because you’ve grown. Every goal that you reach provides the talent, the experience, and the excitement that makes you want to reach for the next one. Now that you’re not bouncing up and down every time something good or bad happens, you’ll be able to enjoy every meal for what it is, and also to envision a better one. Their variety and rewards are infinitely varied and unique. Enjoy where you are but keep on the way to where you’re going.