It’s very easy to get comfortable. To build up your life exactly how you want it to be. Minimize inconveniences and hand off the stuff you don’t like to do. To find what you enjoy, where you enjoy it, and never leave.
A velvet rut, is what it’s called. It’s nice, but the comfort tricks you into thinking that you’re not stuck.
The Stoics knew that this was a kind of death. That as soon as we stop growing, we start dying. Or at least, we become more vulnerable to the swings of Fate and Fortune. Seneca talked over and over again about the importance of adversity, of not only embracing the struggle life throws at us but actively seeking out that difficulty, so you can be stronger and better and more prepared. A person who has never been challenged, he said, who always gets their way, is a tragic figure. They have no idea what they are capable of. They are not even close to fulfilling their potential.
So that leaves you with something to think about today: Are you challenging yourself? Do the choices you make push you or do they help you atrophy? Are you in a velvet rut?
Be honest. And then challenge yourself to do better.
P.S. This was originally sent on July 5, 2019. Sign up today for the Daily Stoic’s email and get our popular free 7-day course on Stoicism.
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