Six Reasons to Wreck Your Life for Good

Life is often complicated and unpredictable; it's impossible to control. But of course, that doesn't stop us from trying. What we need, though, is less smooth sailing and more hardship.

Shipwreck photo
Photo credit: baaker2009 (Creative Commons)

Maybe fulfillment doesn't come with trying to tame the wild parts of life. Maybe our tidy tales need to get a little unraveled in order to find a larger story. Maybe we need to learn to live more in the tension between what is and what should be.

This is why getting your life wrecked can a good thing. In fact, it's the best way to find your life's purpose. After all, you can't change your life by sitting on the couch. (You might want to tweet that.) 

Something drastic has to happen. Maybe something painful or dangerous or even scary. One thing's for sure: it will be hard.

This is the only way we grow: by stepping into situations that make us uncomfortable. That test our resolve and strengthen our faith. Here are six reasons we need these experiences:

  1. Because life is not about you. The worst way to be happy is to try to be happy; the best way is to help others find their purpose.
  2. Because we long to be part of a bigger story. Admit it: a life that's all about you and your comfort feels wrong. Trust that feeling.
  3. Because adventure without sacrifice is ultimately unfulfilling. Leaving a legacy isn't just about having awesome stories; it's about sacrifice and service. Learning to lay your life down for someone else is how we find our purpose.
  4. Because the most dangerous place to be is on the couch. All it takes for evil to prevail in the world is for good people to do nothing.
  5. Because if you don’t act, maybe no one will. Sometimes, the person we're all waiting on to do the right thing… is you.
  6. Because comfortable isn’t enough. A nice house and paycheck and comfortable existence can be a little boring; what we need is pain and danger and hardship. That's where we grow, whether we like it or not.

We all know this. That we need to have our worlds turned upside down. That we need to exchange our smaller stories for larger epics. And still, we resist. We stall. And all the while the abundant life passes us by.

If this resonates, you might want to check out my book, The Art of Work, which is all about doing work that matters and living a meaningful life.

Isn't it time you did something different, something uncomfortable? Share in the comments.