This is a digest version of a longer essay. If you like it, explore it in full detail.
When we think of what makes life fun, we tend to think of activities like traveling, eating good food or spending time with family/friends. I am not about to dispute that. But there’s something bigger and great that lies beyond, that has far greater capacity for growth and joy.
It’s called challenges.
We are born with an innate desire to seek out challenges. My 4-year-old wants to do a monkey bar. My 1-year-old wants to go down stairs by himself. They seek out things they cannot do, and challenge themselves to grow and become able to do so. I have chosen music and guitar as my life-long pursuit precisely because it is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life, but with a potential for the greatest reward. Fulfilling life is one spent pursuing rewarding difficulties.
Modern society often labels an easy life as a good one. They cannot be more mistaken. A real good life is one well-challenged, one filled with worthy yet difficult problems to solve. If you don’t have desires for more challenges in your life, that is perfectly valid — it simply means you have too many wrong kinds of problems. But once you restore your balance, you’ll get to a place where you’ll thirst for worthy challenges.
Life is not meant to be unchallenged. Seek out difficulties, seek out great problems. It will unlock your full capacity for growth and joy.