This past summer, several neighborhood men and I took nearly twenty young men ages sixteen to eighteen to Moab, Utah, to mountain bike, camp, river raft, and hike. One of our goals was to complete the “Whole Enchilada” mountain biking trail consisting of 26.5 miles of serious mountain biking. The ride is called the whole enchilada because it has everything! I will be the first to admit it is a challenging ride, especially with the wide range of mountain bike experience we had among the young men.
As we neared the end of the ride (six hours later!) a man mentioned to me, “Do you think you might have done something too hard for these boys?” “Absolutely not,” I responded. “Hard is exactly what they need.”
Our culture has placed the limelight on fun and easy. Mastery, excellence, and working hard to accomplish something significant have been replaced by fun, frivolous and endless entertainment.
We have mistakenly bought into the belief that if we have every comfort, we will be happy. We equate comfort (and possessions) with happiness and then wonder why we are miserable. I know why, and researchers on the topic of purpose and meaning know why—In comfort, there is no struggle, no adventure, no courage is needed. Instead, we choose Netflix or social media to squander away hours that we could pick up something hard and accomplish something meaningful that we can be proud of. When was the last time you said to yourself, “Wow! I can’t believe I did that. That was awesome, and I’m awesome for doing it.”
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