The Call To Adventure

I discovered Jordan Peterson a few years back and his content has had a huge impact on my thinking. One of those impacts is the clash with what the common person believes to be the good life.

What is the good life these days?

Personally, I think the world is changing. Millennials and now Gen-Z are changing the culture, but there is still a lot of work to be done. That being said, I think the general perception of a good life is a stable job, a house, a family, and a house. If you have those things, then most people will look at you and say you have a good life. Framing that in the view of human suffering, yeah, that’s a good life. But something just doesn’t sit well with me…

Why are people who have these things still unhappy?

A story my friend in college told me about a mission trip to Asia (don’t remember the specific country he went to) has always stuck with me when looking at my life. He told me how he came from America and compared his life with those he was interacting with. They did not have any of the things he believed made for a good life. They were poor, but shared more with him. One thing he said struck him was how they were so happy when he thought they should have felt miserable for their lot in life. Why were these poor people so much more charitable and happy then us in America?

Jordan Peterson helped me reconcile this concept by giving me a better question to ask. It isn’t about happiness. That is a fleeting feeling that comes and goes with our emotions. Happiness is a small piece to a larger whole. What are we really looking for?

We are looking for meaning.

Meaning is the fulfillment of purpose. It says, “my life is worth something…I AM worth something.” Meaning isn’t happiness. If your life is going to be truly meaningful, it will have to do with suffering. It will be full of pain and struggle, but there will be moments of satisfaction that are like happiness amplified 100x. I think of parenting. Parents are known to complain about children and all the work it takes to raise healthy humans. People without kids look at us and say, “if you are so unhappy, why do you do it?” Because after hours of being a little turd, my girl will put her hand on me and randomly say she loves me. Those 3 seconds are more valuable than a month of “happiness” AND all the suffering that lead up to it.

How do we find our purpose? How do we live a meaningful life? We follow the call to adventure. Yeah, like the movie UP, “Adventure is out there!” There is always two voices within us. One that is constantly seeking the easy road, the nice smooth road. Then there is a voice that calls us to something greater, but the road is bumpy and rough. Christ spoke of this when he said wide is the way of sin, but road to heaven was straight and narrow. The easy road will have happiness, but it will lack meaning and satisfaction. The narrow road will be full of struggle, but there will be moments of satisfaction that outshine everything that came before it.

Here’s a few clips of JP that I have enjoyed on this topic.

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