Getting Off the Sofa
October 6th, 2014

Sofas are indeed comfortable, and so long as one has the TV remote in hand, there is little motivation to get up and off the comfy sofa. Being comfortable is great, but life doesn’t happen on the sofa.

More and more recently [the past few months], I have been realizing the need to get out of my comfort zone and get off the sofa, in a sense. Having a comfortable life, with people I know I can trust, in a city I am familiar with, doing a stable job, it’s all great. The majority [I can't speak for everyone] strive for that sort of life – we want to get to know people so that we can trust them; we want to know the place we call home because being lost is frustrating; we want a stable job where we don’t have to be anxious about paying bills or feeding ourselves [or others]. However, when those basic needs are met, then what?

We progress in life socially, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, by seeking out less stable situations, and then making them stable – think chemistry and overcoming the activation energy required to achieve greater molecular stability.

The first step is acknowledging the need for change. There may be no tangible solution in sight, but recognizing the value and necessity for something to change to make things happen is already incredible progress. In order to have more meaningful relationships or discover greater purpose to life, recognizing this need for change is step 1. Relating back to the sofa analogy, it is the realization that there are awesome things to be done and sought after in life, and they go way beyond the arm’s length reach from the sofa.

The second step is to have the ultimate desire for change. Without personal desire and commitment, it doesn’t matter what others say to help, nothing will actually change if you don’t personally want it. Change is not easy [and I'm using this very broadly, inclusive of relationships, career, etc.], and superficially it probably doesn’t seem make much sense [who actually wants to go out of their way to be in awkward social situations?]. But to see beyond and desire what comes after the initial struggle, that is also progress. Still running with the sofa example, if you look out the window and see it’s a beautiful day out, you need to want to experience the sunlight and the fresh air. If you’re inside and you notice from your sofa that it is nice out, if you don’t actually care for the outdoors at all, then there is little motivation to go out. Even knowing that natural light and fresh air is good for your physically, if you don’t really want it, there is little pull to get up.

So you acknowledge the need for change and have the desire to do so, but what does that tangibly look like? It probably isn’t easy, because otherwise you would have gotten up and out already. What it probably looks like is the exact opposite of what you’re already doing. And you may also know what it looks like [what you need to do], you’re just reluctant to follow through. The third step is to go where your not comfortable, to go do the things you are afraid to do, and to overcome them. You may never be truly comfortable with the change [I still am awkward when meeting new people], but it gets easier, and you realize the benefit of being uncomfortable. It isn’t easy and it doesn’t necessarily produce the results you might want, but eventually you will grow from it. You will change and you will see it in yourself. You will see how you are a different person, and how life is different. Maybe the situation itself looks more or less the same from the outside, and the only thing different is your attitude; that is a change, and that can make all the difference.

Finally, the last step is acceptance. This I think is the hardest to get through because you can’t force it to happen; you have to continually challenge yourself and your decisions and reasoning, but you cannot just tell yourself you’ve accepted something when you really haven’t. You can get off the sofa and be out the door, but if you don’t allow yourself to appreciate the sunlight or the breeze, and you just stepped outside bitterly because you know it’s a nice day and you should, little progress has been made, since your mentality is still seeking the comfort of the sofa. It doesn’t matter how logical the solution is or how much you agree with it; knowing the solution is different than accepting it. It’s only when you fully accept and internalize a change or realization that change can really happen.

When we reflect and make intentional decisions, we learn about ourselves and what we really desire.

I am writing [or ranting] about all this because I have been, and still am, going through this realization and acceptance of the need to take initiative to get to where I want to be. I am getting to [or rather already at] the point in life where decisions matter, and the overall projection of my life is largely determined by what I seek after now. The concept is simple, trivial even – if you want something to change, then make changes, and taking it a step further, embrace such changes – but it’s one of those things that is just easier said than done. Being comfortable is great…for a time, but eventually it leads to complacency, settling, and just a very stagnant life, where you might not be dying, but you’re also not living.

The challenge is to not become complacent and just settle. The sofa is comfortable and familiar: it’s safe; but life does not happen there.

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A little bit of an intro...

This is my personal site to post some stuff – stuff that is so random I can’t really be any more specific. But if you care for photos of food, panoramas, my day, or just the thoughts that go on in my head, please stay!

I love to travel, bake, burn time on tumblr, read, cafe questing, and run around pretending to be a photographer. I also have a thing for Japanese, classical music, and food. Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I hope to do it with a smile, see new things, do everything, and just experience and take it all in.