Just OK is not enough

This evening I was involved in a conversation that made me think of a song. This is not a shock. This happens a lot. There is a reason why my friend once called me a musicologist.

Anyway, without going into great detail, the idea came up about attaining a certain level of comfort in your life. At some point you get to a place where people think you’re a success at [insert successful thing here] and you just sort of coast along there, when you really have the potential for more. Like a runner who says, “Well, I’ve made the goal of a two hour half marathon, so I’m gonna be happy with that” instead of now trying for a 1:50 half.

I realized that in some ways I’m at that coasting along stage in my life, and I’m sick of it. Not in running, but in my potential to make an impact on the world and the people around me. This spring I first heard the song “You Are A Tourist” by Death Cab for Cutie. And I could totally relate to the sentiment.

The lyrics in part say, “If you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born in it’s time to go”. I know the idea of being too comfortable in your life and feeling like a tourist in a place you should feel comfortable are opposing images, but they lead me in the same place. A change. Now, I’m not necessarily talking about moving or switching jobs or anything huge like that. But I’m also not talking about going brunette.

I guess I am feeling a little too comfortable in my life these days. I feel like I’m just sitting and looking at the same scenery day in and day out. If you look around the same room enough times, you will start to notice things in the third or fourth pass that you didn’t notice in the first one. Things almost seem different, even though you’re in the same place you always were. And in looking around my too-comfortable life, I’ve started to feel alien there. (I guess that would be how to reconcile those two images.) I want to feel like I’m living up to my potential as a human being. As Matthew West puts it, “Just ok is not enough.” (Yes, my blog about one song has now reminded me of another one!) I want to be better than ok. I want to be extraordinary.

But right now I’m so comfortable that I’ve become alien. And there’s a burning in my heart.

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