“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference”.
Can you stay in one place but physically travel to your intended destination? Can you think about what you will have for dinner to-night, while at the same time do mathematic calculations?
No! This is not how the brain works. This is not how things work inside of us.
Yet this is the kind of exercise we engage in when we sit in that artificial space called the comfort zone. We constantly sit there even while we pine away about wanting to improve our personal situation or station in life .
We constantly lie to ourselves about wanting or needing to change something… anything…. about ourselves and the things that negatively impacts our lives. Yet we are either to scared or too confused when it comes to leaving our comfort zone.
The hungry man sits in on the sofa desiring a drink from the fridge. He sits and thirst for the drink. He is fantasizing. He is engaged in the kind of activity most of us in today’s “modern” society does.
Only a scant few would get up off that sofa, go to the fridge and select from a variety of liquids with which to quench our thirst. The second man has left the comfort of the sofa and in doing so, has not being physically harmed in the process.
Our individual comfort zone is a place or situation where we feel “safe”or at ease and “without stress”. It’s a place we go to or a place we choose to remain in, when difficult choices have to be made. When difficult challenges have to be met.
One cannot open one’s hands to receive new gifts when they keep a tight grip on old gifts. One cannot consistently stuff new and more clothes in an older or smaller bag. One would have to get a newer AND bigger bag to accommodate the increased load.
One has to release the old in order to receive the new. You cannot drive a new car with the attitude of the driver of an old junk, nor can you purchase and live in a 5 bedroom mansion, and move in with the mindset of someone used to living under a bridge.
Our comfort zone is the death of us. Many of us have died in our comfort zone. Died at 17-20-22-29-45. We have died long before the death is registered in physically. We have died in spirit. We have died emotionally and in many cases mentally.
The man who sees the world at 50 the same as he did at 20, has wasted 30 years of his life —Muhammad Ali
What an impact full statement. What a powerful indictment of many of us who choose to live in and die in our comfort zone.
Life has multiple plateaus. As children we scale these plateaus fearlessly and with the kind of ignorant resolve’s that only a child who sees the world has a place of glorious wonder could.
Unfortunately adulthood got in the way of our exploration of the world. We become infected by the disease of adulthood. A disease that kills our wonder and reduce our fearlessness of exploration to nothing but fear.
The only two kind’s of fear that are naturally built into us are the fear of loud noise and the fear of falling. Every other fear is manufactured by that backstabbing conniving thing called the mind. The mind conspires with our emotions to make us fear the world.
For most of us this fear paralyzes us. Some of us deal with that fear by going forth and attack the world negatively. Destroying the planet to show ourselves that we DON’T fear it. Most of us chose to give into our fear’s by residing in our comfort zone. Mentally and emotionally curled up in a ball while ducking our thumbs. The blanket covers our ears a’s we scream “mommy make the noise stop”!
Only a scant few of us Wil choose to step boldly into the void. Step bravely of the cliff of uncertainty and face the world with the love and joy of exploration in our hearts. It is this bold move that allows us to find growth in ourselves. To grow into the promise of who we are supposed to be.
Life is of but two choices. You can choose to give up. Or you can dare to go forward. We choose to give up because we fear to lose. We also give up because we fear to win. Each fear state carries its own reasons and justification. Neither of which tells the true story. The story is we are greater than the reasons we give for not to be great.
Our lives ends on that day we choose to stop living our purpose. Our dreams. We can have dreams. We can have desires, wants and needs. They will remain so until we make an effort; a concentrated effort to fulfill those dreams, wants and needs.
Do you know what two of the greatest impetus for getting out of your comfort zone is?
There is hunger!
When your hunger to achieve becomes greater than the need to breathe or remain comfortable.
Then there is Pain!
The emotion of pain, derived from specific experiences that drives you to prove you are not that which originally caused your pain.
Either one can drive you to a place you need to be in order to get what you need to get. But you have to first chose to be uncomfortable. It is not called the comfort zone because it is uncomfortable. So in order to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you have to leave your comfort zone.
Being uncomfortable triggers ancient survival instinct encoded in your DNA. Yes I know, the big-headed needs in the science lab says the brain choose comfort over danger as a survival mechanism. That is partly true. There is another part of the survival mechanisms in the brain, that modern society has killed. Or at least imprisoned.
That part is for want of a better word…hunger. An insatiable hunger to know. To explore. To meet and overcome challenges. That was what we had as children. That is what we need to release from the prison inside of us.
We chose though, to live in our comfort zone, hoping we can eat omelette. Not realizing you have to crack a few eggs in the process. Not realizing that we cannot learn to swim standing on the shore. Or realizing what we must do, but are conditioned to not do what we need to do, to get what we really want or desire.
How does your comfort zone looks like to you today? Are you comfortable there? Are you really, really comfortable there?
This requires deep thinking.