I love learning about other people and how they live. Today I learned about a student who loves to challenge himself. He deliberately puts himself into challenging situations, and if it’s not challenging enough, he figures out a way to make it challenging. It’s joyful for him to run six miles a day, for example, to make his bed every morning, to take harder classes, or even add a major or minor to make sure he’s challenging himself. He’ll choose a paper topic that’s not too easy. That’s not joyful to do the easy thing.
As we spoke, I considered this way of living. I wondered why some people enjoy a challenge and others shrink from it. I’ve talked to other students who love challenges. One student told me she’s been challenging herself since elementary school because it’s fun; it’s a game to try to win each day. Her eyes sparkled as she talked about going above and beyond the minimum requirements of a class. For fun. For joy. For the feeling of winning a challenge. Could I try to live more like my student and consider the challenges of the day with joy? Could I challenge myself? It’s interesting that your challenge, in this case, is with yourself.
Today, I’m challenging myself to finish grading, to walk 2-3 miles, and to encourage at least 5 people. I challenge myself to drink enough water. I challenge myself to do something hard that I don’t want to do–whatever that thing is. At the end of the day, I want to measure the joy of rising to a challenge.