Everybody seeks comfort and security in his life. This is part of human nature, and can be partially explained by the survival instinct inherited from the animal kingdom.
The truth is, however, staying in comfort zone for a long time is dangerous.
Why is that? How can something rooted in our nature be dangerous to our own selves?
The answer is avoiding challenges in your life cuts you off from opportunities for growth and improvement. Like body needs regular training, soul needs regular challenges to stay fit. A weak soul cannot be happy.
A stabilized, normalized and settled down life is not bad in itself. It is bad when it becomes a life-long habit though.
A job that is not a dream one but pays the bills? Fine. A partner you put up with out of fear to stay alone? OK. A lifestyle full of TV and online games without bright emotions? No problem either. The issue here is that all these “OKs” finally lead you to live the life of someone else.
I am not saying we must constantly go extreme and do something crazy with our lives. The point is we need some kind of inner fire that must be always kept running.
For example, doing some interesting projects at your workplace. Trying to help homeless, disabled, or anyone in need. Going for a marathon run even if you mind protests loudly. Learning a new language. Starting a new sport. Reading the “Capital” series by Karl Marx. Acquiring a new skill.
The opportunities are indeed endless.
This kind of inner fire, or quest, or challenge is absolutely necessary not only to learn new things, develop yourself and transform. The problem is that if you don’t start this, sooner or later life will force you to do so, but in a way which will not be so pleasant compared to if you would initiate the change yourself. I like to formulate this principle as “Create a problem yourself so that you don’t get problems from the outside”.
To sum up, I believe both strive for comfort and challenge is indispensable. There is no contradiction in this statement, as man has a dialectical nature (like anything else in this world).
Comfort is necessary to stay peaceful and relaxed. Challenge is necessary to feel alive. As Richard Bach nicely put it in “Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit”:
It must happen to us all…We pack up what we’ve learned so far and leave the familiar behind. No fun, that shearing separation, but somewhere within, we must dimly know that saying goodbye to safety brings the only security we’ll ever know.