Thursday, February 7, 2013
Recently, I was having a conversation with someone and we talked about our comfort zones. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘comfort zone’ refers to the locations, activities, emotions, and individuals in a person’s life that they are frequently exposed to. Generally, a person gravitates toward those elements that bring them a comfortable and safe feeling. You might define it as your daily routine. The point of the discussion focused on pushing that zone, expanding it and giving it more depth and whether it was always necessary. Now my personal view is most people, including myself, should continually push on that comfort zone because if you don’t, it will shrink.
I’ll explain. If you drive to work and always take the exact same route, you might become so used to that routine the thought of driving a different way might make you feel uncomfortable, or even a bit scared. Here’s a personal example for you. I usually eat out for lunch once a week. There’s a Subway two blocks away that I like so I usually find myself heading down there. Now I know Subway isn’t that great, but it’s convenient and I know the people that work there, so it’s comfortable. But, I can get pretty damned tired of sub sandwiches at times. I found that I wasn’t exploring all the other possibilities around me even though I was sick of my current situation. One day I just got so sick of subs I couldn’t even finish my sandwich. That’s when I realized I needed to get out and explore, push that comfort zone. Now, I trade off. One week I’ll go to my comfortable Subway shop, the next week I’ll try a new place. It satisfies my need for stability and my need for the ‘new’ nicely.
Okay, this may seem like a trivial example to explain how one should explore new and unfamiliar things in life. I realize that, but a lot of times, people need to start out small before they can tackle the really big challenges. Wadding into more dynamic things is better than jumping into the deep end and drowning, proverbially speaking of course. I have come to understand some things about myself; one of which is, I like learning new things and exposing myself to unfamiliar situations for the experience of it. I suppose it feeds into my need for adventure and the want to write about it later. There have been many times where my efforts to push on my comfort zone have lead to story inspiration. I like that. Others, however, aren’t so in tune with their wants and desires. Others aren’t even sure they could challenge themselves in such a manner.
As the conversation we were having unfolded, I realized that other people need far less constant pressure to give them the motivation they need to try new things and keep life fresh. That different perspective made me think more about why motivation for me might not work for others and vice versa. But as the old saying goes “You won’t know unless you try.” So I say give it a try, even if it’s just going to a different sub shop. Think about it this way, you just might find a better tasting sandwich.
Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are always welcome.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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