As I have mentioned before, I have become quite a fan of Vic Verdier, trainer and just general all around interesting thinker (@vicverdiercoaching if you are on Instagram). He had another thought provoking post that I duplicate in full here from his post "Understand You Only Live Once":
"For the first time in centuries, life expectancy in men in the Western World is decreasing.
Not because we do stupid and dangerous things but because we eat too much and live a life of comfort and ease.
It’s time to wake up, do hard things, move, be hungry and realize that comfort and convenience are not what life is all about.
It’s time to start a new life made of resilience, risks, hardship, travels and adventures.
It’s time to move, be cold, be hot, be tired and be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
It’s time to live with a purpose that doesn’t involve climate control, Netflix and online shopping.
Real life is out there, not in virtual reality. Wake up before it’s too late and you die in fear."
You can perhaps say a great many things about Vic, but his ability to inaccurately tell the truth is not one of them.
He is right, of course. If you think about the world as it is portrayed today - or at least the world that is present as the ideal "life", it is the "safe and sane" one of fireworks fame: go to school, get an office job (by the saints and martyrs, not a trades job or - gasp - "manual unskilled labor" or agriculture), live in a safe modern urban environment with all the conveniences and everything within a 5 mile radius. Adventures, if you have them, should most be through viewing exciting things on the InterWeb or steaming or "Games" (that is the wave of the future, you know: e-gaming) or from carefully monitored and safely managed activities that are within cell phone tracking range. Anything remotely dangerous or uncomfortable (or out of cell phone range) should be eschewed. Any risks, of course, should be the safely managed ones.
Now, I suspect were to ask Mr. Verdier, he would hardly suggest that what he is proposing is to live a life that by default is uncaring dangerous and foolish - which is where some folks, those one who are proposing we should all "safe" lives, would immediately go. "If you are not for safe, civilized living you are for The Dark Ages" or something of this nature. Because in our modern society, this is all that we have allowed for anymore, modern existence or a completely and total abandonment of all reason.
This is not inherently to argue that we should all give up on our lives as they are tomorrow morning, drive to the middle of nowhere, and start living in a yurt (although that does have a certain appeal). What it does mean, I think, is that at no matter what point in life we find ourselves, it is worth asking a simple question or two. Like "Am I seeking out challenges, or settling?" or "Is this something I am just doing that I could push the envelope a bit on?"
It could be something radical - like, for example, taking a long hike. Or something as mundane as deciding you will rise a bit earlier to establish a clear work out schedule. Or even something as simple as working a bit in weather you would rather not do so in. The important thing is to be willing to try to expand that bubble, even if just a little bit.
Most people in the modern world would rather read about or watch adventure or pretend it comes in an vicariously lived through a game - as if, ultimately, one's fingers and one's eyes and one's imagination are any substitute for the actual doing of things. There are a lot of things one can experience through those mediums, but it will never compare with the experience of accepting the challenge and living the experience by one's self.