The Most Engaging Activity in Your Life (Digest)

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.


  1. Ari,
    Challenges, in my thought, are opportunities to prove yourself, set an example or educate the next generation! However, this attitude is tied to the age as well… Though, in my mid thirty’s I already feel a bit tired while thinking on how to go about certain known challenges!

    PS:- Cam here via Barbara’s blog and now reading it on my RSS reader almost every day. I may not comment, but am thoroughly enjoying your views.

    1. Hi Ajith,

      Welcome to OBV! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it.

      Now, I definitely hear you on being tired thinking about some of the challenges facing you. And one of my next posts is going to address that. Challenges are challenges — they are not walk in the park. And it takes a lot of investment on your part to tackle them. The question is, why do we not have the resources to make that investment?

      Stay tuned! 😉


    1. Hi Bamboo,

      I agree completely. Our pursuits need not be external or tangible at all. In fact, our inner growth is one of the most reliable and consistent challenges we all can have. Each stage of life has multitude of learning opportunities. I hope to keep growing till the day I die.

      The digest version has been popular. It’s a lot of work to prepare two versions, but I definitely understand that people don’t have time to read my long proses. Plus, I want to work more on being succinct — as I think that’s ultimately more powerful than extended essays. I’m just not developed enough to be able to say what I need to say in 5 sentences.


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