The Comfort Zone

Today, a very good bro of mine told me the most wonderful piece of news.

He had just taken a BIG STEP forward in realizing his dreams: He got Started.

I know… it might not sound like a lot, but I personally think it’s one of the hardest step to take.

I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest that “Sitting in a cubicle churning out powerpoint slides” did not rank very highly in most of our lists of “Top Ten Things I Wanna Do when I Grow Up”. (Amount of research done to obtain this info: 0)

Yet, “sitting in a cubicle churning out powerpoint slides” (or something similar) is what most of us would’ve started out doing, because let’s face it, unless you are one of the VERY privileged few, we need to put in some sacrifices to get food on our tables.

We probably all started out with a mountain of a dream and slogging it out was a very logical first step we needed to take to reach it.

So we slog. And we climb.

After a while, we probably realized that the more we climb, the fresher the air gets, the more food we were able to find.

We established a routine, knowing that we just need to climb a bit more everyday to get more of what we need.

Then one day we’ll realize that we are not really even climbing any more. We’ve climbed for so long that we’ve caught a break from climbing. We were high enough that we do not need to worry about the bare necessities of life any more.

We’ve reached a fertile plateau.

It is a decent place to be. It is a comfortable place to be.

At this time, we’ll look up and see that there’s still a cliff climb between us and the peak of our dreams.

It’ll also be at this moment that we would be faced with a decision.

Do we stay where we are, because we’ve got everything we need here (except our ULTIMATE dream)? Or do we risk everything that we currently have and start climbing again for a dream that might not even be there any more?

At this point, I suppose I am expected to deliver a “holier-than-thou” sermon to screw everything and climb that f-ing cliff!

However, I honestly believe that what happen from this point on is very personal, and very circumstance-dependent.

I believe that this is the time when some of us would’ve reached a stage in our lives where we’ve taken on extra commitments, and established the need to maintain a certain lifestyle that we just could not give up everything to go climbing again.

I respect that.

Our goals are suppose to change as we age. It’s part of growing up.

Yet, at the same time, I also believe that a fair amount of us are using “extra commitments” and “need to maintain a certain lifestyle” as a very convenient excuse to stay where we are because it is simply more comfortable than climbing again.

I should know. I LOATHE physical assertion of any kind.

And then there are people like my bro, who very clearly has “extra commitments” and NEEDS to maintain a certain lifestyle. Yet he is willing to say “Game On!” and start climbing again, because quite simply, good enough is just not good enough.

It’s not easy, and definitely not something you can decide out of the blue.

It takes planning. It takes confidence. It takes guts.

I am deeply inspired by it.

I believe that stepping out of our comfort zone is the only way for many of us to achieve what we’ve always wanted.

This is a slight variation from one of the slides I was shown very recently at a trading class. I think it applies to a lot of aspects of our lives as well.

At this point in time, if you are wondering if I came up with the brilliant “dreams/climbing” analogy myself, stop. I didn’t. It was inspired (again) by one of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman stories that was collected in Fables and Reflections. 

A very apt quote from the story:

“It is sometimes a mistake to climb,
it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt.

If you do not climb,you will not fall.
That is true

But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fail?
Sometimes you wake up.
Sometimes the fall kills you.

And sometimes,
When you fall, You Fly” 


One thought on “The Comfort Zone

  1. Pingback: Why you will not make money online | John Spencer

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