Be Made Better, Then Make it Better
Nashville made me better, there's no doubt about it. Sure, I was raised in Lexington, grew into who I was, and shared many great memories, but I wouldn't really look back and say that Lexington pushed me to be better. It's not Lexington's fault - it's true of nearly any hometown, big or small. If you stay in one place forever, comfortable becomes the inevitable. In Nashville, I was constantly challenged to be better because moving forces you to step out of your comfort zone. I was launched into a city of performers and dreamers, creatives and thinkers, all who pushed me to rise to the occasion. Nashville is a city where things are always happening, and change, rather than comfort, is in your vocabulary.
However, there's a catch 22 about living in a city that is constantly moving: it becomes far easier to get lost in the shuffle. There's a lot of criticism that can come around being a big fish in a little pond, but no one ever talks about the crisis of being an average fish in a big pond. When you're in a city that is constantly creating, it's easy to latch your identity onto the identity of others. I love Nashville, but too often did I find myself attaching my identity and my ability to make an impact to the city that I lived in. Nashville was doing great things, so naturally, I felt like I was a part of it. Even in times when I wasn't pushing myself to go and create and do, it was easy to fall back on the springboard of other people's success.
Colorado Springs is far less innovative than Nashville in many ways, but yet it's far more progressive in other ways. It's a different culture with different successes and different struggles. Many of its best attributes were weaknesses in my old home town, but many of it's areas for growth were commonplace in Nashville. Thus, I have the chance to do something great. I have the chance to take things from the city that made me better and make somewhere else better, too.
Every opportunity provides an option for growth and for investment. It doesn't require moving, but it does require movement. When you are in an environment that enhances your skills, don't just settle for gaining new knowledge. Take those skills, take that knowledge, and make someone or somewhere else better. In turn, you'll have an impact, rather than merely slide on by.
You can become complacent anywhere you go, so remember to grow when you are shown greatness and invest when you see room for improvement.