I have a theory. It’s not a popular theory. In fact, when I posed it as a question on Facebook there was some disagreement. But I maintain my thesis. Here it is: people who are content will not change. There would be no need. They will stay in their comfort zone with no desire to leave. It takes unhappiness, a burr in the saddle, some kind of discomfort to prompt or prod us to level up, so to speak.
Here is one example of my hypothesis.
In the Book of Mormon, there is an account of a certain people. They are known as the people of Alma. Their account is recorded in Mosiah 23-24. Let me give you the gist.
After being converted to the Lord, Alma begins preaching, teaching, and baptizing. The king doesn’t like this movement among his people and sends out soldiers to put an end to it. Literally. To kill them all. Alma and his people flee into the wilderness and escape safely. Once separated from the king and the kingdom they establish themselves and create their own community.
They dwell in relative safety and prosperity for probably 15-20 years. There is no way to determine how long they lived like this I believe it was probably long enough to set up roots. They had the Lord in their life and they prospered.
Until, one day, their community was discovered and things changed for them. Changed for the worse. As good as they had it before, things were that bad. It was not a good situation.
Because their circumstances changed,they were prompted to leave their settlement to seek for something better. That’s what they did. They escaped their persecutors and got out of Dodge. Or Helam as it were.
Here’s the interesting thing. Once they fled and joined the kingdom of Zarahemla under the rule of king Mosiah they again prospered. But it was more than that. Alma, being a High Priest, oversaw the church in Zarahemla. Not only that, but his descendants are responsible for nearly the rest of the Book of Mormon. If Alma had stayed in the land of Helam there would not have been the church in Zarahemla. At least, not to the extent it grew after his arrival. And most important, the Book of Mormon would be an entirely different book after the book of Mosiah.
This account alone leads me to believe that sometimes we need to become uncomfortable to stretch and reach our potential. Some people may willingly leave their comfort zone to seek out growth. But others need that little extra push.
If you are going through a difficult time right now and maybe are missing your little zone of known peace take heart. This could be a time for you to level up. To grow. To reach your potential. Blessings are coming your way.
What are your thoughts? Do people tend to make lifestyle changes if they are happy? Or do you agree unhappiness prompts change?
One thought on “The downside to contentment”
I think you make a good point that people may benefit from unhappiness to motivate them to change.