Teach Me Not To Settle

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I was thinking about a story I heard about a man and a boat. It started out pleasant enough. He pushed it out to sea and stepped in, spreading himself out across it. He decided he wanted to float. Let the wind take him where it pleased. It was calming. Peaceful even. He drifted off as the rhythm of the waves rocked him to sleep. Days later he woke up to find himself lost with miles of sea surrounding him. What had started off as something peaceful had become something fearful. And in moments he had realized there was a possibility that he would be lost at sea forever.

I think of that story because it seems to mimic a path that many people find themselves on. They start off floating through life just to take a breather. To relax a little after a hard period in their life. But it becomes enticing. It spills over into everything. And before we know it. Floating becomes our life.

A lot of us settle for life barely lived. One full of comfort, but lacking in real happiness. One void of risk, but missing any sort of pride or achievement. We go about our complacent day because well it’s just easier that way. For a little over 6 years I have straddled the line between settling and forging a worthy path. And in truth, settling is kinda nice. You don’t feel much accomplishment but you also remove disappointment and pain from your list of feelings felt.

Problem is: for someone like me, nervousness, anxiousness, restlessness all start to consume my mind and body when I settle. There’s a sort of insanity that consumes me when I lay low and float the seas with no direction. And it taught me one thing about myself. Not settling is exhausting. It’s painful. It risks complete failure and utter disappointment. However, settling and the sickness that it brings is its own personal hell. And it’s one that eats me alive.

In realizing this, I have to fight myself to risk it all. To make something of myself even at the cost of my much loved comfort. Because I’ve been on the other side and let me to tell you, it’s a far worse fate.

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3 thoughts on “Teach Me Not To Settle

  1. Wow Zack. This is one of your best and most poignant. It is easily missed because the choice to settle is a subtle one. It’s great for all of us to have you posting again. Much wisdom that we all need.

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