This weekend I watched a Dreamworks movie called Megamind with my kids. It was cute and fairly humorous. The basic premise of the story was that once we reach our goals and even overcome our adversaries life can get terribly boring. Without opposition or obstacles to overcome life loses its purpose. It causes me to think of Michael Jordan and his life story.
What keeps Michael Jordan striving and working to be the best in everything he does even in his after-sports-life? (Check out wikipedia for all of his amazing achievements) I believe it is linked to what Megamind says. It’s the thrill of the battle. There is joy in overcoming and winning in life. But the moment the battle is over and another goal is not set, life can lose its meaning.
This idea is perhaps why I can get quite frustrated with people who aspire to do nothing more in life because they are “doing pretty good.” Life should never be about doing pretty good. Life truly should be lived for excellence. Life should be lived based on our purpose and constant aspirations to be a better person and help others do the same. And life most definitely should not be about the endless pursuit of recreating oneself to the grave. Of course, do not get me wrong, there is a place and time for recreation and the like, but all of our decisions should culminate in moving towards higher living. The moment we no longer struggle, learn, and grow, is the moment we no longer live.
Perhaps this point is best illustrated in Chris Brady’s blog Trout Fisherman In Hell. How easily we can perceive something in our lives as enjoyable, fun, and even fulfilling, only to one day find out that it is actually a living hell. Let’s not be those that succomb to the lie of “doing pretty good.” As Jim Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great.” Get out there in life and be great!