“It is hard to get comfortable people to do anything when it might cost them their comfort.” – Tamora Pierce, Trickster’s Queen
This quote has been running through my mind a lot lately. Okay, it’s been running through my mind intermittently ever since I read Trickster’s Queen in 2012, but lately I’ve been pondering more and more how it applies to me. I’m not planning to overthrow the government and put a thirteen-year-old on the throne, after all. So why has it stuck with me so clearly?
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been questioning my own comfort, and the necessity of it, quite frequently over the past few weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that comfort, in and of itself, is not bad. It can be pretty dang good, actually – who doesn’t love curling up after a long day, or a hard ride, and letting yourself relax at last?
It’s holding yourself back for the sake of comfort that can become problematic. Before long, you aren’t just comfortable; you’re complacent. Why push yourself harder on your run? Why speak up and ask for more stimulating tasks at work? Why travel somewhere new when it’s so easy, so comfortable, to go back to the same beach you’ve walked a thousand times? Of course, if there is a reason to stay where you are, then make note of it and move on.
I keep wondering, though, how often I’ve stopped myself short of asking that crucial question – why? – and how often I’ve traded in opportunity for familiarity. Comfort should be a refuge, not a cage.
So have the presence of mind to appreciate comfort for what it is – and the courage to leave it behind when something else is more important.