“Run from what is comfortable – live where you fear to live.” -Rumi
I’m POSITIVE ya’ll have heard all the clichés about how life begins at the end of your comfort zone. But, thats the thing about cliches. They are cliche for a reason, and it’s because they are so damn true.
I have realized pretty recently that I am in love with the comfort zone. Things in the comfort zone are easy, simple, and relaxed. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love things that are easy, simple, and relaxed? Exactly…everyone does!
But, the truth is, there is N O such thing as “too hard.” That’s just another way of saying “I’m lazy and comfortable and I don’t want to work for that.” In my opinion, people who say that things in their life are “too hard” are taking the easy way out. We naturally want things to be easy. So of course when things are too hard, we choose the thing that is too easy; walking away. You know the saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, right? I think a lot of us, including myself, live more like “When the going gets tough, the tough runs like hell.” See, I believe that all of us are still tough, we are just a little too used to sitting back and watching life pass us by.
Why, though? Why is is that we choose to walk away in those circumstances? Why do we choose to watch life pass us by? Because it’s comfortable. When we stumble across things that are hard, our minds and bodies have the opportunity to choose to be comfortable (walk away) or uncomfortable (rising up). And the truth in that matter is that being uncomfortable is hard. No one wants to be uncomfortable. Except for me. And so should you.
Sure, being comfortable is cool for a while. It’s safe. But I promise you, being safe will get you no where. Michael Jordan didn’t play it safe. John Lennon didn’t play it safe. James Dean didn’t play it safe. Nathan Scott didn’t play it safe. (You know you’re addicted to One Tree Hill when…).
I read this quote somewhere online… “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”
And man, was it a wake up call. Life is precious, and I don’t want to turn something so precious into a routine. Into a habit. I don’t want to live a life I am used to. I don’t want live my life in certainty; how boring is that. I want to live in uncertainty.
So today, and everyday, I make the promise to get out of my comfort zone. While it feels nice on the outside, nothing grows in the comfort zone. Things die there. Life dies there. Adventure dies there. It holds you back and holds you down. You want to move forward and up. So, do something crazy. Get out of the comfort zone. Everyday.
Last month, when I was looking at a piece of raw octopus that I was supposed to be putting in my mouth, my good friend Francois told me that “Life is just one big experiment.” And he is very right. Our lives are shaped by the experiences we have. And it is up to to us to decide what those experiences are. I want to experiment with life. It would’ve been the easy, comfortable way out if I refused to eat that piece of octopus. Yea, sure, I could’ve gotten sick, I could’ve thrown up, I could’ve embarrassed myself. But living life scared of the unknown is no way to live. Choose to be uncomfortable!
Here are things I (and you) should do everyday to get out of the dreaded comfort zone:
1. Try something new. Whether it’s eating raw octopus or reading a book you never thought you would. Anything.
2. Push yourself to run for 5 more minutes. One more set. 30 more seconds.
3. Strive to wake up earlier. If you’re like me, start with 9am. Then 8:30 am.
4. Read. A chapter, a paragraph, a sentence. Doesn’t matter. But read.
5. Change something in your daily routine. Never listen to rap? Try it.
6. Face a fear. Hate heights? Ask a friend to go rock climbing.
7. Dare to look stupid sometimes.Something wonderful may rise from it. And if not, have fun doing it.
Those are just a few things I came up with after racking my brain, but there are a million ways to leave your comfort zone everyday, and they are all relative to the individual.
The key to life is discomfort. You won’t move forward by sitting back all comfy in a lounge chair. But that doesn’t mean we all can’t afford to do that every once in a while.
Enjoy life, take risks, and love deeply.