Be Discontent… With the Status Quo


Recently, Jon Acuff shared the following on his blog:

A few months ago, Dave Ramsey celebrated 20 years on the radio. That is the equivalent of 834 regular years.

Radio is that tough, that cut throat, and that difficult. Suffice it to say, 20 years is an incredible accomplishment.

During a Q&A session, someone asked Dave a question. They said, “What was the moment you realized that you had arrived?”

Dave’s answer surprised everyone in the crowd. Without missing a beat, he said, “We haven’t arrived yet. There’s still so much we need to do. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”

Dave Ramsey leads a company of hundreds. He inspires millions through his radio show, books, websites, and courses every single week.

Yet, he clearly doesn’t feel like he’s made it. And I think there’s a lesson here for all of us.

We should never, ever feel like we’ve arrived. There are always many more things we can learn, many more ways we can improve.


The day we feel like we’ve “arrived” is the day we begin to die as a person.

Always be looking for ways to grow as a person. Constantly challenge yourself to move a little bit further outside your comfort zone.

Learn new things. Try new recipes. Take a class on a new-to-you subject. Read widely. Meet new people. Ask questions. Challenge yourself to run farther or workout longer. Engage in thought-provoking discussions.

Never be content with the status quo. You were made for more.

What’s one new thing you’re trying or learning right now?

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Comments

  1. Anna says

    I have 4 kids and no time for exercise. But the extra weight from the pregnancies was depressing me. So I signed up for a Crossfit class and I also just started running. This is a big deal for me because I never exercise. Both are hard but I’m proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone (especially when all the other “athletes” at CF are lifting way more than I am!). I just keep pushing the “I’m not good” thoughts out of the way and try to be proud of the improvements I’ve made. :)

  2. says

    I’ve been feeling that way for a while too. I wrote about it on my own blog back in March. I really do not like the status quo and I’m enjoying challenging it these days. It’s helping me embrace ideas that are hard, that go against the grain, but are best for my family.

    The Status Quo Sucks.

  3. says

    I am learning to make sauerkraut. I’m really experienced at making bread and yogurt but my first go-round with the kraut did not work out. I was really frustrated until I remembered that the first time I made bread and yogurt they did not go so well either and now they are just second nature. It’s a good lesson to remember that growth/learning usually involves some things not working out right in the beginning! I’m going to give the kraut another shot soon :)

    • says

      I saw you reference your novel in your ebook that I just read. Not sure if that’s one of those things you’re stretching your muscles on, but I just have to say that when I read about it in your ebook I immediately was excited at the possibility of a novel written by you!

  4. says

    Honestly, I am having a hard time even *trying* to be more affectionate with my husband. We have really grown apart, but I’m kidding myself by ignoring the vibe in our house. So……..even though this is something that “should” come second nature, perhaps to most people, I am going to have to skyrocket away from my comfort zone to truly reap the benefits. Please, wish me luck!

    • Anna says

      You won’t regret it. I was the same way as you were. But I’ve finally realized just how much small touches mean to my husband. AND how much it hurts when I pull away. We’ve been married awhile and we were even considering separation bc we had grown so far away, but some drastic things happened which threw us back at each other. We have now learned that when we don’t TALK often about our lives with each other, that is how we drift apart. I will be thinking and praying for you bc when you do finally come back to each other (and it may take awhile), you will realize why you married him. :) It’s a good feeling and I hope you get to experience it again soon!

    • Tiffany says

      As a person who’s been there before, I know first-hand that you can do this! By nature, I tend to be less affectionate towards other people. I just am not a “gushy”-type of person. Enter my hubby…he is. He was feeling rejected and underappreciated. ME TOO! To help me overcome this, I have to make a conscious decision to show him that I care…even if it seems like the last thing I want to do. Take baby steps, don’t overwhelm yourself. I started by just sitting next to him while he watched tv or played games online. Mind you, we have three (going on four) children, so the last thing I wanted to do was sit on the couch when my house was a mess and I was not really feeling the love. But over time, he began to chit-chat with me as I sat there. It has opened up so many doors, as I am a talker. Now we have a “date” at the church café every Sunday morning before service, as he is now reciprocating my attempts to show more affection. Yes, it is still rather slow-going for us, but things have gotten so much better. This is just an example of the tiny things that can be done to move mountains in a relationship. Hope it helps! :)

  5. Courtney says

    We’re pulling our kids out of public school in order to homeschool, and discontent with the status quo is exactly the reason why.

    • says

      We pulled our children out of Christian school two years ago to homeschool and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Hope you do as well!

  6. Sara says

    Recently I have been saying “no” to extracurricular activities and just trying to be content with my home and family. (The status quo where I live is to be as busy as possible.) It has brought me much peace. I also started a book club to discuss some of the excellent books that I have been reading lately.

  7. Paula says

    I am getting up the courage to start blogging. Been reading Platform and other books/blogs to learn.

  8. Jennifer says

    I’ve been wrestling with a decision for 2 weeks now. I’m scared to death and it would bring me way out of my comfort zone, but you just gave me the extra boost of courage to say “YES”!

  9. Melissa says

    I’m still working to declutter our home. It is out of my comfort zone to come home from work and dig right into what seems like a never ending project, but just about anything worth doing takes time and effort! Progress has definitely been made over the last 4 years! When my husband and I got married 4 years ago were were in our 30′s and had both lived on our own for over a decade which means when we combined our two homes into one home, wow did we have way too much stuff!!! I still get shockers once in a while (like a few weeks ago when I realized we had 10 casserole dishes!) but for the most part most of the crazy duplicates have been donated away. Now that we are considering moving in a year or so we have doubled up on our efforts to banish anything we don’t need use or love.

    • thar says

      Thanks for inspiring me in this area. I’m an at home mom and I STILL feel like I can’t do it. But I don’ t want what I FEEL to become what “I am”, kwim? I can do this. I can.

      • Melissa says

        Hi Thar,
        I can see that in some ways being an at home mom would make this task even more challenging as it’s an environment you’re immersed in most of the day probably making it easier to put off til later. For me I know I only have 3 or 4 hours from the time I get home until bedtime so I know that procrastinating isn’t much of a choice if I want to get it done. The good news is that I think you can do it. :) Even if it’s just a little bit at a time. With decluttering something is always better than nothing. That’s what I’ve come to learn over these past 4 years! Even those little 5 minute declutter projects while by themselves aren’t much of an improvment, they have a tricky way of adding up over time to equal huge improvements.

        • thar says

          I think you may be correct about that. Thanks for your response and encouragement. I do feel a sense of “at least something done” when I just get a junk drawer cleaned, or one child’s winter/summer clothes sorted.

  10. Sarah says

    What about having another baby? So many of us think we can only handle 2 or 3, but God teaches us so much through the children he gives us.

  11. says

    Isn’t this the paradox of our culture though? On one hand we spend so much time, money, and energy trying to learn to be content with what we have and were we are. We read self-help books for hours, join Bible Studies about contentment, and try to ‘live in the moment’. Industries are built on this stuff. Yet, at the same time our culture also screams at us to move, grown, and change. Progress, progress, progress. Our culture gives us so many conflicting messages. I am not saying either is good or bad, I am just noting the pressure that may of us feel when we are tossed between two competing cultural expectations. I think balance is key.

    • says

      I agree with this. I think that there are seasons for change, and seasons for growth, and that sometimes growth isn’t going to look like much change above ground, but below ground your roots are getting deeper and stronger.

      One of the things I struggle with sometimes is that it almost feels like everyone I read online is trying to challenge me in one way or another to live outside my comfort zone, and it feels exhausting. I get where Crystal is coming from here, but I have to be at peace with the fact that sometimes “progress” doesn’t always need to mean doing something new or different, but it could mean doing what I do already in a better or more meaningful way.

      • says

        Can I ask what feels exhausting about it? Because if it’s exhausting, I think you’re trying to step in the wrong direction — or maybe picturing “going against the status quo” means a very specific thing and looks a very specific way.

        It doesn’t. It will look different for everyone. But the one thing that will be the same is that it should be exhilarating, not exhausting.

        Like you said, progress doesn’t always mean trying a totally new or different thing. Sometimes it’s changing our attitude about how we approach something everyday. Sometimes it’s changing our systems for something we already do. Sometimes it’s just, as you put it, doing something in a better and more meaningful way.

        Growth and learning is going to look different for everyone. There’s no wrong way to grow as a person — except to remain stagnant. :)

        • says

          I think what I mean by exhausting is that it feels like there are quite a few bloggers and even preachers out there creating challenges or saying something to the effect of “How are you going to make a difference today?”

          There’s nothing wrong with this on its own – I agree that stagnancy is not the goal, but there are quite a few examples in Scripture where people are out in deserts or pastures for a number of years seemingly doing nothing, and then the time is ripe for their ministry.

          I guess that my concern is that with the advent of the Internet, we get these challenges to “step outside the norm” from 100 different directions. I have followed your blog a long time and respect what you do, and I know that for you, doing things outside of your comfort zone has pushed you far.

          I just don’t think it has to be this way all the time. I think that our culture, with the ability to be literally “on” all the time and connected in so many ways, is in danger of forgetting that we live in a seasonal world that has times of growth and upheaval as well as times of peace and rest. My belief is that we need winters as well as springs, not just outdoors, but in our hearts as well.

          For me, I realized awhile ago that I needed to unsubscribe to several blogs because I was getting different challenges from different people and I ended up just feeling bad because I wasn’t stepping out and always trying something new. I don’t fault any of the bloggers, including you, it’s more my own need to simplify my stream of input.

          Maybe I’m making an issue out of nothing, I just wanted to mention in my original comment that I don’t always think comfort is a bad thing. I hope it wasn’t taken as a harsh disagreement, it was just what I thought as I read your post.

          • says

            To be honest I have felt this same way. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one so I am glad I read your comment. I, too, have had to stop listening/reading so many voices that are saying I need to be challenging
            myself to be doing x,y,z. It wasn’t until I read Crystal’s post that it dawned on me that some of the voices I had been allowing to speak to me were maybe coming from a place of feeling that they had “arrived”. I think there are a lot of voices out there preaching this message and some come from an encouraging place and some a not so encouraging more self righteous place. I have learned to only listen to voices that challenge me yes, but in a very encouraging way (which is why I still read Crystal’s blog daily!) I have learned I am most healthy in my growing as a person when I’m not listening to so many voices and only ones that encourage, and not make me feel bad. But I have felt the exhausted, defeatedness of reading post after post of needing to do more, make more of a difference, and sort of seeming to undermine just being content. I find that when I am most content, I grow the most and am in a better place to challenge myself. I really like the idea, like you said, of challenging myself where I’m at in a better and more meaningful way.

            To answer the question in the post: (I just stepped out of my comfort zone by joining this discussion :-). I’ve also been walking five days a week for the past two weeks, after years of doing no type of excercise.)

          • says

            “I just don’t think it has to be this way all the time. I think that our culture, with the ability to be literally “on” all the time and connected in so many ways, is in danger of forgetting that we live in a seasonal world that has times of growth and upheaval as well as times of peace and rest. My belief is that we need winters as well as springs, not just outdoors, but in our hearts as well.”

            Yes!!

            My best growth has come after the winters…

              • says

                I’m loving this discussion. So thought-provoking!

                THANK YOU to all of you who have chimed in so far. I am learning (and growing!) from reading your comments. :)

                • says

                  This is a really great conversation! I’ve been thinking a little bit more about this, because I had the same initial reaction as Jo Lynn and Jenni {although I don’t have the ability to put it into words quite like they did}.

                  I fear we often mistake busyness as growth. We frantically try every new thing we see or buy every self-help book out there in the name of growth (ask me how I know!). We want to skim over the parts of growth that are just plain hard–like dying to self, waiting and being still, being watered and nurtured….and instead, skip right to the “doing” parts. Instead of waiting on God, we push ahead and try to create growth on our own schedule. I’m not disagreeing with your ideas at all, and I think they are excellent ways to grow. I just wonder if we focus too much on the “doing” sometimes and don’t allow ourselves to rest in the “being” part.

                  I was also thinking about how our muscles need rest after a difficult strength work-out to repair and grow. We also need to rest and repair sometimes. We don’t always have to pursue growth. It can happen even in those times of rest after an intense season of “doing”.

                  I’m not sure if any of this is making any sense, but I think it really comes back to your purpose. Why are you doing what you are doing? How are those things contributing to your growth as a person? So many times I’ve tried to pursue things I think I should because they seemed to work well for others, but they just didn’t really align with my purpose in life.

                  I love the Dave Ramsey quote, and I think it’s great that he believes he hasn’t arrived. He knows he has a bigger purpose and calling he still needs to fulfill. I think we all need that. We find our motivation to grow and change when we know our purpose!

                  I’m completely rambling here, but sometimes I think status quo is okay. There are times in life when status quo was the best I could do. I still tried to live faithfully and do all those little things that needed to be done. I just didn’t have energy for more than that…but I knew that it was just a season. I had hope that I would make it through the barren areas and find new life again. The bonus is that when you’ve gone through those lifeless, stagnant times, the life you find on the other side is that much sweeter and vibrant!

                  Love you, friend! Thank you for this post and making us all think a little bit more!

                  • says

                    Very well said. I like your analogy about the rest and repair when we work out and how that applies to us resting in life at times. I’ve been through a season like it sounds like you have also where maintaining the status quo was my goal and you’re so right the life on the other side is that much sweeter, even though it didn’t seem like it would ever be that way. I have found from that season it has made me more picky about what I focus on, who I listen to, and the way I challenge myself to grow. I really like your analogies and tying it all in to our purpose. I think you made complete sense! Thanks Crystal for an outlet to have a discussion, I spend my days with my three year old who just doesn’t seem interested in discussing things like this :-)

          • says

            Jenni, I really appreciate you sharing your insights. They really line up with my heart in my original comment that we, as women especially, must be aware of the variety of contradictory expectations our culture asks us to meet. I love you thoughts on the idea of seasons! I believe could even build mini-seasons of rest and challenge in our days and weeks.

        • Elizabeth says

          I really liked all the comments in this thread. I would never have thought it was appropriate to write about this on Crystal’s website, except I also sometimes feel exhausted trying to push myself to be better everyday, so this is in response to your question, Crystal. :)

          I am at a place in my family’s life where we are dealing with therapy over past abuse from other family members. Life is about slow progress right now. There is depression, there is PTSD, and there is a lot of therapy. This is God’s work and I see a tremendous amount of healing, grace, and God’s restoration. But I am not in a place right now where I can take on any more self-improvement projects. It’s frustrating, because I would love to focus on improving my physical fitness, starting my own business, or other great stuff. But right now I have to focus on this huge area of “self-improvement” that was thrust upon my family because of being the victims of abuse.

          I’m not telling my story because I’m looking for sympathy, but there are so many people out there dealing with crises in life – whether it’s an illness like cancer, or having to face past abuse through therapy, or some other kind of crisis – where the circumstances dictate what you have to do for the time being. I feel so helpless some days because emotional therapy is slow going, often I have to take a support role for a family member because I’m not even the one doing my own therapy, and I’m so emotionally worn out that I just don’t have time or space for other projects. I have learned that I can’t push this. I can’t really even focus on other side projects. I have to stay focused and I have to sit still and wait a lot of the time as our healing progresses.

          I have rambled and I apologize if I didn’t make myself clear. I guess all I meant to say is that if illness or abuse recovery or something hits your family, sometimes you have to focus on that and you are forced into a time of slowness and waiting. It IS changing the status quo, but healing requires waiting. I can’t set my alarm earlier in order to make my family’s therapy go faster. I would LOVE to work on a project where all it took was my own grit and determination to make it happen. Your blog seems great for focusing on those kinds of projects. I find your posts so inspiring! I love the upbeat attitude of your blog. But unfortunately, lots of important life projects can’t be forced through just hard work and determination. Some of them just take time, even if all parties are dedicated and working hard. It’s easy to feel impatient or inadequate, but I have to accept the circumstances of life, and with God’s grace I am learning to do so.

          And I dream that one day…one day this will be in the past, and I can focus on deep cleaning my home. ;)

  12. Anna says

    I just sent my father a birthday card for the first time IN MY LIFE. It feels so good to have reached out and connected to him despite never knowing him. I think that healing broken relationships is a huge way to move forward in one’s life (as I can now attest to!).

    • says

      Can I just say that this comment warmed my heart so deeply? I am so thrilled for you and proud of you for taking the step toward healing a broken relationship!

  13. says

    I want to learn how to make sourdough and some basic cheeses on my own, and I’m trying out some new seeds this year.

    But beyond that, I’d like to say that I don’t always think doing comfortable things is wrong. I don’t agree with the statement that life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. I think a lot of life happens in the daily moments that can feel dreary and monotonous, but that are deeply important because they create consistency and security. It just feels like our culture is constantly praising those who do new and bold things, while those who are faithful in the small things day after day, year after year, are unrecognized.

    To me, it would be like trying to serve something new every evening, when in reality, there are dishes that your family loves and work well and don’t require much effort because you know how to practice. It is fun and good to introduce new dishes, but it doesn’t mean the old dishes are wrong.

    • ZTB says

      THIS. I identify and like this comment more than the original post. I felt the same way as you after I read it, you just put it into words so much more succinctly.

    • says

      I was thinking more about your comment this afternoon and one thing that came to mind is that I think it’s much in our approach to life than in what we’re actually *doing*.

      For those of us who are Christians, every single day should be lived to the glory of God — whether we’re scrubbing toilets or leading a global war on poverty. There are no little or big things in God’s sight.

      Faithfulness is what matters. Every day is an opportunity to do Kingdom work — no matter where we are or what we’re doing. It all matters when it’s done for His glory. It’s not monotonous or dull when it’s done for His glory. And yes, it all makes a difference when our lives are lived out as an act of worship to our Creator.

      {By the way, I’m loving how we’re bringing different viewpoints to the table and discussing them — such a thought-provoking conversation!}

      • says

        I’m relieved – you know I like you :). I was just hoping to flesh out the discussion a bit as well, and was glad it wasn’t taken negatively. I think having a position of openness to what God wants to do is important, whether what you are doing looks big or small in the world’s eyes. I did a lot of things “outside my comfort zone” in my mid-20′s – new language, new job, new family, new culture, and it was a good growth experience for me. But I think there was probably a good deal of burnout that followed, and so it’s hard sometimes to think about doing new and different things, but always being in a mode of “it’s okay to rest” is just as problematic. A lot of it has to do with trusting God, I think, and being able to discern where He is leading.

      • Dawn says

        I just read your comment “There are no little or big things in Gods sight.” It struck me so strongly that tears immediately started flowing. I needed to read that today. Thank you Crystal for your ministry!

      • says

        “For those of us who are Christians, every single day should be lived to the glory of God — whether we’re scrubbing toilets or leading a global war on poverty. There are no little or big things in God’s sight.”
        AMEN! I can totally agree with this, and need a daily reminder of it as well.

        I also believe that living the life that God has given us is an adventure in itself. Every day will present new challenges (relational, personal, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and when you look at those challenges with the perspective of growing & maturing in character then you are living outside your comfort zone. The realization that we will never be perfect is a hard one to accept at times (don’t deny it), but the sooner we accept that there is always room for improvement, the sooner we will enjoy the benefits of becoming or doing something better for ourselves or someone else.

  14. says

    Thanks for the encouragement Crystal! Humility and honesty play a big part in what we can and can’t do. Women can have the tendency to compare themselves and their situations with others. Instead of focusing on what we can do, we often focus on what we can’t.

    I’m learning to be more productive with my time. It is on-going and not perfected, but each new step of the way encourages me that I can “create” more time, if I am organized and focused in my day. Hope your Tuesday is terrific!

  15. Tara says

    After reading the April 1st post by Abby about cutting cable I new we had to make the leap. We have become junkies to some extend to our cable shows. I do not want this for myself, husband or kids. I know we need to spend less time in front of the tv and more time as a family. Also, my husband and I need to spend more time together as a couple. My husband was a little reluctant, but I told him the other day, “We just have to rip the bandaid off!” We are switching off the cable next week! I am looking forward to having more quality time together. P.S. Abby thank you for the steps. It made it that much easier.

  16. says

    I’m always trying to learn something new or try something out of my comfort zone, and Lord knows, I’m never going to arrive–or even think I’ve arrived…at least in this life!

    Right now, I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone by holding a book study at my house. That may be easy for some, but it’s not my favorite thing to do as an introvert! I’m also working on improving my public speaking skills. Again, not my favorite thing, but it’s something that I believe I’m supposed to do. Even though I’d rather go hide in the closet…. :)

  17. says

    Wow, this post and the comments on it are so thought provoking! I love reading the discussion.

    I do agree with those who said that always trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone all the time can be exhausting.

    For me, personally, one thing that contributes to my frustration and exhaustion is reading way too many blogs and just consuming way too much online media or even physical books. Constantly feeding ourselves with different ideas, approaches, examples, and challenges without taking the time to implement can quickly lead to frustration. I do so, so much better when I cut way, way back on all of this and stick mainly to a couple blogs. I also have tried (and loved) a “media fast” where I cut out pretty much all media or all except one or two specific blogs for a period of a day or two or a week.

    Second, I think everyone’s life and comfort zone is so different. Even the extent to which pushing yourself is exhilarating vs. exhausting is different from person to person. I also think there’s a time to be satisfied with a lot of things about yourself and your life.

    I think what exhausts me the most personally is the constant guilt that I’m not doing enough or that I’m not pushing myself enough. I think that’s where pushing myself out of my comfort zone or trying new things goes from exhilarating to exhausting. The exhausting thing is if every night when I go to bed, instead of being happy about the 3 things from my to do list that I accomplished, I berate myself for the other 8 things that I didn’t do. I think the exhausting thing is the way I handle my “failures.”

    I also think some of the most wonderful parts of life aren’t the times when we’re on the edge of our comfort zone. There are wonderful things that are well inside our comfort zone. I think we need both.

    I’m still searching for that line between being content (even with myself) and pushing myself in a good way to grow. I think when I push myself too much, it just totally backfires!

  18. says

    I’m really enjoying reading all these comments.

    I completely agree about the need for balance. There are seasons in life, or areas in life, when it’s important not to settle, to always strive for improvement. For me, I’d say the most important areas are my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, and my role as a mother. Those are three areas in which it is unacceptable- to me- to not try to be the best I can.

    But there are also times, like when you have a newborn at home, or when, for one reason or another, things are particularly stressful or painful, that it’s necessary and understandable to put aside those goals for self-improvement and just focus on being. During those times, focusing on the three non-negotiables can pretty much take all you have.

    I also agree with the commenters who mentioned the way this is pushed in today’s culture. With an endless number of self-help books/websites/speakers/seminars, it’s easy to confuse the idea of self-improvement with the myth that you’ll never be good enough. I guess my thoughts on the topic boil down to this: give everything your best shot, whatever your best might be at any given moment, but remember that we’re all made in God’s image.

    Also…after two babies in two years, and two years of discontent with my body and health, I recently started the 30 Day Shred. I’m loving how it’s making me feel, both physically and mentally, and how it’s encouraging me to make healthy choices in other areas of my life.

  19. melissa johnson says

    I just had a new baby and I have 2 step kids and a full plate. I still recovering from childbirth im in the 2nd week of 6 weeks, i am challenging myself everyday to set a few goals. Some of them being just get a shower and toss in a load of laundry, or empty all of the mini trash cans in my house to the main garbage. Just getting a shower and putting on light makeup is a victory at this point. I am challenging myself to stay on top of paperwork and newborn appointments and take care of myself in balance. Coming to moneysavingmom.com is a 20 minute daily treat for me. As I get used to my new schedule hopefully it will be to read some of these free ebooks I downloaded and do some freezer cooking.

  20. Shannon says

    I appreciate this post because we have been a family that tends to go against the grain in alot of ways. More recently, we are focusing on saving and investing rather than consuming like we have done in years past. It is so exciting to learn and apply the concepts I am learning about regarding finances but at the same time it is a little bit uncomfortable and scary. This is how I believe I know we are becoming “unstatic” We try our best to be unassuming in our “against the grain” endeavors meaning that we try to maintain the same level of social interaction with family and friends although I am finding it more of a struggle due to the way that the people we know and love consume in a manner we once did. It is nice to read a post like this to know that others are on a similar path in many ways and I need to continually work to embrace all of our family and friends way of life while also remembering it is ok to say no to the things that may cause us to fall from our path or rejoin the status quo.

  21. Shari says

    Crystal, thank you for your writing and for your practical inspiration. Please don’t ever stop challenging us!

  22. says

    Very true! Sadly, my old job (as a work-at-home mom) went down the drain slowly, so I’m striking out in new directions. Sometimes, I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Other times, I’m discouraged by how far I have to go.

  23. Amanda says

    Thank you for this! I needed it at this very moment. Last night, after 2 loooong nights of emotional arguments between my husband and I, we finally came to a mutual understanding. I’m finally getting a chance to launch my career, which pushes me way outside of my comfort zone, but also pushes him to grow as a father. It gives me time away from my 3 children, while giving him time on his own, to strengthen his bond with them. I’m praying that we both can uphold our sides of the agreement, and grow together, as a family, and individually. I know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work, compromises, and patience, but I know we both are committed to giving our family the best chance we can, and we can succeed if we want it bad enough. Time will tell. Thank you for the time you take out of your day for all of us on your blog. I continue to gain knowledge and understanding through your posts.

  24. Slides 'n Sandboxes says

    I’m not entirely sure how to take this post. I don’t see anything wrong with not wanting to change every single day. “The day we feel like we’ve “arrived” is the day we begin to die as a person” statement seems to put down people who like what they do, where they are at and don’t care to go any further. Those poor souls will have to start hiding it from those forever changing and comfort zone defeating people, or they’d look at them differently. Say, a nurse’s assistant likes her job, but she is so good at it that those ever new challenges conquering people would start telling her to become a nurse, then a NP etc. What’s wrong with doing what you are comfortable with and absolutely loving it? Are they really dying?? “Life beings at the end of your comfort zone” – are those people really not living?? If you feel comfortable and happy as a mother of one child, are you really dying as a person unless you have two? Then three? Then four? It would be way out of your comfort zone. I am just wondering and I am (hopefully) not attacking anyone or anybody’s opinion or views.

    • says

      I think for me to define “arrived” would help. For me (and how I was using it in the post) to think you’ve arrived means that you feel like you’ve learned everything there is to learn and know everything there is to know. You don’t want to grow as a person or learn anything new.

      When you feel like this, I believe you begin to wither as a person because you are stuck in a rut and going nowhere in life (not to mention that you have a mighty big ego! :)).

      Being a teachable person, no matter where you are in life, will take you far — even if you never change jobs or move or go travel the world. When you approach life like this, every day is a new learning and growing adventure!

      I hope that helps to clarify. And thanks for chiming in!

      • Slides 'n Sandboxes says

        I see what you mean and agree (and thank you for responding to my comment). Believing that you’ve learned everything there is to learn is a big mistake (and there are a lot of people who believe just that and are paying for it dearly.)

        However, one can remain teachable even without stepping out of their very own comfort zone. But statement declaring the life to begin only once you step out of it is a bit much. You can happily gallop around in that comfort zone, be content, healthy and willing to improve. In that zone. And grow as a person. In that zone.

    • Heather says

      What you said make me think of the “Peter Principle”.

      I agree with the principles behind Crystal’s post, but the whole “you begin to die as a person” is a bit overdramatic. But in general, I’m not fond of one-liner type motivational statements like that. They don’t leave any room for nuance and tend to overgeneralize.

      That’s the part that was off-putting for me. Also, I think that it’s possible to feel that you have “arrived”, but to still want to grow and learn new things in other areas. For example, a person could have been raised in abject poverty, and now have a decent home to live in and a good job, and feel that he has arrived. Doesn’t mean that he won’t continue to grow and learn.

  25. Mary John says

    So interesting to read how differently this post has been interpreted. When I read it for the first time I felt a bit relieved…like if I am meant to grow and learn my whole life why am I working so hard to try to be “perfect” right now. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person and am working on just trying to be and do a little bit better than yesterday.

    Thank you for your blog Crystal; I have been inspired by you for years! This is the first time I have ever commented…stepping outside of my comfort zone. ;)

  26. says

    Last week I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and made some phone calls to ask companies for donations to a silent auction at our homeschool convention. I volunteered to run the auction because I like to organize but I was really not looking forward to the calls. I finally did it and I was so glad afterwards. Kind of like facing your fears that Crystal talked about the other day. It feels really good and I have managed to make more calls without the same dread.

  27. Shadreka says

    I’m a lazy person. Working harder has always been a struggle for me. My discomfort only arrives when an aspect of my life requires more dedication. I know that am my worst enemy. I pray that I can overcome this procrastination and move on with my life. I wish I could finish everything I started. Instead I jump in whole-heartedly and scold myself for not doing something better, next thing you know I quit.

    • TJo says

      Shadreka,
      I know just what you mean. It is quite a struggle. Are you a creative person?
      I am and I know that I become bored very easily or become discouraged if what I am doing doesn’t keep my interest or if I think I can’t be successful. I don’t have any answers–although my husband who is a task oriented person helps me (when I let him :) be accountable.