My sister and I were having a conversation the other day, and contrary to what you may have heard in our podcast, we are capable of having deep and meaningful conversations on occasion. We were reflecting on the desire we have as humans to always capture the status quo and strangle the life out of it. A couple may say, “If only we could keep the passion we had in the beginning of our relationship!” Or a owner of a company might say, “Can’t we stay here forever? It can’t get better, so let’s just hold firm.”
The older I get, the more I start to understand that maintaining the status quo is just an illusion crafted for us by the folks on Madison Avenue. I’m not saying that consistency is a bad thing; quite the opposite in fact. I think it is foolish, however, to believe that we should strive to maintain a particular state of our lives in perpetuity. I see this in the arrested development of some individuals who act like they are still in college, drinking until all hours of the morning and then returning to work hungover and on no sleep. At the risk of sounding hypocritical because of the message of the GGP, if partying is truly your passion, by all means get after it and enjoy.
For me though, I think we as a culture are obsessed with preserving the status quo and everything that comes with it. In and of itself, I don’t attach morality to this at all, but too much of anything can be a bad thing. Trying to “fit in” by conforming to whatever the current fad may be will ultimately end up burning you out and leaving you empty. Life is like being a cruise ship: we are sailing along for a period of time and then we stop on an island for a while. People feel alone when, after being on a particular island for while, their name gets placed on a new ship manifest, and they refuse to leave.
I would encourage you to enjoy the cruise that you are on at the moment and to appreciate the layover at whatever island destination awaits you. Maybe you are on the Company Career Cruise Line and your boat is moored on an island for 30 years. Or perhaps you are on the Catamaran of Entrepreneurship, dashing from island to island early in your career until you land on an island that you and your friends created by collecting the sands of other islands you’ve visited. Regardless of what cruise you are taking, when life puts your name on a new ship manifest, don’t dig your heels into the sand and let the boat go without you. Get your ass out of your chair and climb the gangplank, grabbing one last look at the island and then looking forward to the horizon.
Life would be incredibly dull if we stayed in the same place all the time. The folks that are really changing the world are always happy to move somewhere else, and some of them are building bridges between islands, allowing people to connect while simultaneously celebrating their uniqueness. Whatever you do, when it comes time to leave port, don’t miss the next boat.