Innovation

Why Do We Become Complacent, Comfortable and Bored?

“Why do we as people become complacent, comfortable, and bored? … I have a fire in me. I’m going to start each day with a purpose and carry it out. I’m done being bored and not doing things I want to do.” –Dave Gerber

Dave was asking a rhetorical question. There are very real reasons we become complacent, comfortable and bored: Our brains are hardwired to keep us safe. Fear of failure or the fear of what other people think can propel us to stay complacent, comfortable and bored. Those fears are powerful forces that can produce limiting beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that inhibit our potential, relationships, happiness and fulfillment. Fear holds us back.

I met Dave briefly this January in Las Vegas. When we met, he had already decided to confront his fear and commit to pursuing the life he deserves and desires. He had been bestowed the very powerful gift of perspective. Our meeting pushed him further toward taking action. A couple weeks later I received this email from Dave:

Ryan,

My name is Dave Garber and I work with a company called Workfront. You delivered a great presentation at our annual sales kickoff about 2 weeks ago. It was about more than sales for me. You shared a great story about your Dad that inspired me and I want to briefly share my 2016 experience.

In May of last year at 36 years old I was experiencing vertigo, and during a visit to a chiropractor I suffered a stroke (way too young for that). It’s basically everyone’s worst nightmare when someone is twisting your neck. I was diagnosed with a Vertebral Artery Dissection (basically an injury inside your artery). Luckily and miraculously I walked out of the hospital 3 days later, stunning the doctors, with a foggy head and a whole new perspective. I walked around my yard feeling the grass, the weather, absolutely shocked that I dodged such a fatal bullet, potentially leaving behind my wife and 4 kids. Not a day goes by that I don’t savor the experience of everything. After that I pushed forward and went back to work purposefully ignoring the dizziness, headaches, fatigue and frustration that has followed.

Then at the end of October my siblings and I got a text that my Dad (65 yrs old) was in the hospital. He was having kidney failure for some unknown reason. At 1 am in the ER the next morning they found a growth on his kidney and lung. There I was, 2 rooms over from where I had been treated for a stroke just months before. They began to run tests and within 3 days they found lesions all throughout his body. Long story short, for the last 3 months he has been in and out of the Huntsman Cancer Institute with the worst case of Multiple Myeloma (a form of blood cancer) they have ever seen. At the end of December they gathered us all together because he was likely going to die that night. Yet he defied the odds and has mildly improved. Bone fractures throughout his body, pain, fatigue, chemo, radiation, etc. have all been his new normal.

The point is, your preso inspired me and hit close to home. Especially the part about your dad. 2016 taught me that discomfort and challenge can either bury you, or dramatically enhance and build you up in ways like nothing else can. My Dad is a rock and he’s fighting his cancer like a champ.

My stroke made me appreciate EVERYTHING. Even the ability to be in the presence of strangers with air in my lungs.

Why do we as people become complacent, comfortable, and bored? Between these experiences and your killer presentation I have a fire in me. I want to write a book just because I’ve always wanted to. And I’m going to start each day with a purpose and carry it out. I’m done being bored and not doing things I want to. Thanks for a great presentation.

Dave

Dave is right. Growth can accelerate during times of adversity. In reflection, I believe our weakest moments are opportunities to create truly defining moments. Those moments are the catalysts that propel us forward, further and faster toward becoming more of who we are capable of being — in the direction of our dreams.

I admire Dave’s sense of urgency and responded letting him know that my own sense of urgency was forged during my health scare at the end of 2015. Dave acknowledged that he is actually grateful for the gift of perspective his experience provided:

“Not to sound careless, but it’s cool to hear that you also had a health scare in 2015. It’s like this club that no one wants to be part of, but I’m actually glad mine happened. Life is so frickin’ short but so valuable at the same time.”

Do you have a fire inside you? Are you tired of feeling complacent, comfortable and bored? Want to get unstuck?

Good. Decide what you want and please understand this fundamental truth:

Everything we need to accomplish what we deserve and desire exists inside us. It was put there for us. You can reclaim what you were made for at any time.

I invite you to join Dave and me. Decide what you want. Dream big. Commit. Write it down. Do it right now. Share it in the comments on this blog. Share it with someone you love. Determine the next most important action you can take to create momentum and move you in that direction. Go do that.

Then watch what happens next.

When you start each day with a purpose, and commit to carrying it out, everything changes. Odds are, you’ll be done with the boredom and fear, and you’ll finally feel free to go after the things you really want.