Recent events in my life, including the birth of my second child, remind me that there is a certain danger in being comfortable.
Please know that by comfortable, I am referring to a sense of complacency when the basic necessities have been met. By no means am I referring to comfort in the furniture sense of the word. If that were the case, this would be more about Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition sketches - "bring out... the comfy chair!"
Comfort here is referring to the complacency in the progress of personal or human endeavors. Even though I knew from an early age that I wanted to have children, I was still terrified of my first child until she was about eight weeks old. I thought I was going to injure her if I held or burped her improperly, and the slightest cry from her room at night would send my adrenaline into overdrive. And yet, after all that, here I am some four years later, and she's best kid ever (but everyone thinks that about their kid).
The birth of my son was a similar situation. We knew we wanted to have more than one child, but having an infant at home throws me right back into that constantly on-alert and sleep-deprived state.
Mind you, I am not complaining. It's tempting to, at times, but the idea here is that doing the right thing is scary and uncomfortable more often than not, and the ease and comfort of keeping things the way they are can become a road to perdition.
Although changing my son's diaper is millions of miles from advising students at Granite State College, in the figurative sense, it made me think that many of my students probably struggle with the temptation to just keep on keeping on. At first, it's difficult to figure out why my students voluntarily make their lives more hectic by taking on adult college courses alongside all of their other responsibilities: job #1, maybe job #2, senior parents to take care of, kids, soccer practice schedules, and everything else.
But in the end, it's because it's better to push and challenge yourself and take more behavioral science classes rather that sitting there watching Gilligan's Island reruns or playing Bejeweled for the eleventy-billionth time.
Following the ethos of voluntarily moving out of the comfort zone is seldom fun, but I have learned that it demonstrates character and willingness to keep moving forward that pays off in most walks of life, including professional development, family life, and personal betterment.