Years ago I wrote an article asking Why Is Everyone Busting On A-Listers. At that time it seemed that many people kind of missed my point. That was okay because some people thought I’d missed their point. I’m going to take that on first.

by Jeremy Eades via Flickr

I didn’t miss the point about A-listers and how many of them don’t respond to comments on their blogs anymore. I get it, and I don’t like it anymore than they did. No matter how big someone gets, I feel they should respond to at least some of the people who comment on their blogs. As most of you know, I’m big on bloggers not only approving comments when they’re moderating but also commenting on them, and it doesn’t matter whether or not they’re A-listers. I’ll give those who receive lots of comments a break because, truthfully, some comments are pretty lousy, but many of them deserve to be responded to.

However, almost everyone missed my point, and I’m going to say it’s my fault because I didn’t think I had to be more specific in what I was saying. Sometimes you have to go that extra step and tell people exactly what’s going on; lesson learned.

Most of the time there are more than 2 ways to go about something. We can say there’s a right way and a wrong way but that’s not entirely truthful. Everyone’s “truthful” isn’t the same as everyone else’s; we all know this is true. If it was there wouldn’t be a need for political parties, or a need for different languages or countries. There wouldn’t be prisons to put criminals in, but there also wouldn’t be different degrees of heroes, from those that run into a burning building to save some children or those who called 9-1-1 on their cell phones for help.

When it comes to success, you either shoot for it or you don’t. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shoot to be the CEO or the person that cleans the toilets. It doesn’t mean you have to do what I did, leaving the regular working world and becoming a consultant. What it means is that there’s no way you or anyone else can shoot for the middle.

The middle moves, it’s always moving, and it’s either on the low end or the high end; that’s where “average” comes from. Many people think of the middle as being comfortable. The reality is that no one is ever comfortable unless they have so much money that they have no worries in paying their bills. Trust me, that’s more than comfortable.

Let’s choose a different “C”-word for now; let’s go with “contentment.” I’m using that word because if I start talking about “content” you’ll think I’m talking about blogging again and that kind of content; this is me being more specific. In any case, stay with me for the moment.

The difference in my mind between comfortable and contentment is that comfortable doesn’t take any action steps but contentment does. Comfort is a dream; contentment is a reality. If you’re comfortable you’re not really living; if you’re content, you’ve not only lived but you’re probably still growing in some way. Are you still with me?

I’d like to talk about my dad for a few minutes. Dad joined the military on his 17th birthday. He didn’t have a college degree obviously, but he also didn’t have a high school diploma; he had just started his senior year a couple of months earlier.

This meant that his military career would be limited. Still, he set his sights on the highest position possible for him at the time; master sergeant. He had to switch branches of the military after a couple of years (and being shot & injured while in Korea) to get there and it took some time (after being shot and injured while in Vietnam), but 23 years after he’d enlisted he finally reached the highest rank possible for him.

Just so you know, sergeants don’t make a lot of money; you don’t get rich in the military. For that matter, almost no one makes a lot of money in the military. Still, he wasn’t content to be a staff sergeant or even a tech sergeant. He knew he’d never be an officer, so he went for the best he could reach.

What did that do for him later on? He showed he was someone who wasn’t afraid to work to get as high as he possibly could. He never looked to be comfortable because comfortable for him would have been watching the evening news, having either a few beers or some bourbon over the weekend, and playing pinochle (a game I never could learn). That doesn’t take a lot of money, but to be truly content, you take care of your bills first, you set a living standard you want to enjoy, then you take your shot and go for it. You can’t aim at the middle because you never know what it’s going to be.

Dad didn’t do that. He retired from the military and got a job at a large corporation. They wanted to help him move up but he had to take care of some things first. First he got his high school diploma then went to college. He finished 2nd in his class with a double major in business management and psychology.

He moved up within the corporation he worked at to the point where they flew him all over the world to teach others what he’d developed. He left management and was basically a freelancer within the company. He found true contentment because he got to do what he wanted to do with no encumbrances and made a lot of money doing it.

Think about your blogging for a minute. Do you write an article with the intention of it just being “good enough”? Are you just trying to put out whatever you can and move on to the next one? Do you really care that someone’s reading what you have to say and might be impressed with what you’re saying, enough to get them to leave a comment or share the post somewhere else?

Or are you just trying to be comfortable, going through the motions, not really caring if people comment or not because you know you’re not putting forth your best effort? What’s the middle of blog writing? What’s your intention/

I see a lot of people who say they’re trying but we know they’re not. I visit a lot of blogs; I’ve seen a lot of bad, boring and truly horrific writing. I’ve seen “make money” blogs that have no soul in the writing. I’ve seen a lot of blogs that basically rehash the same garbage over the over, never giving nothing of themselves. That’s comfortable; those are people who are trying to make money with no effort whatsoever; how do you think that’s working out for them?

Which one do you want to be? Do you want to try to be better, at least have something to say, put together posts that have some passion in them, something you hope someone else picks up on? Or do you want to be comfortable, writing bad posts and not really caring, trying to find the easy way without really working for it?

Do you want people to comment on your blog articles without caring whether or not you respond to them, or are you willing to follow through on what I consider is your obligation to acknowledge that someone took the time to leave a comment which you thought was good enough to remain on your blog so your potential audience feels like you care about what they have to share with you?

Give that some consideration, add it to your life in general, then be truthful with yourself. Does being comfortable take on a different meaning now? Is that really all you want out of life? Wouldn’t you enjoy being content instead?

I would.

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