Two simple methods to overcome a need for cozy stagnation
“Comfort zone” sounds too cozy as well, I like how Bear Grylls said it:
“The thing about a ‘comfort zone’ is that it sounds, well, too comfortable. I call it a comfort PIT because a pit is somewhere you want to get out of as fast as possible.”
To go out from the comfort zone, you need to look past what’s in front of you. You need a vision that will pull you forward, no matter what.
For me, there were two things, which are two sides of the same coin: extrapolation and dedication to progress.
Comfort zone means things and your life will stay about the same. Do the clever exercise, ask yourself: How will my health/ career/ finances/ relationships/ spiritual life look like 10/30 years from now if I don’t change anything?
This is a very sobering exercise. For me it was the tipping point. I extrapolated how my personal finances (thus, my life) will look in 35 years (when I was about to retire).
I concluded that after paying off a mortgage for our apartment we will have about $40,000 to live the next decade or two (and of course retirement pension worth about 20–30% of my salary). That was scary enough to get me out of my comfort pit immediately.
When living from day to day, comfort pit doesn’t look very horribly. However, if you extrapolate stagnation for long enough time it will be the thing of your nightmares.
My personal motto is “Progress is my duty.”
I just couldn’t have stand the thought that I will not grow. Progress summarizes what my whole life is about. If progressing means discomfort, struggle, sweat, blood and tears, so be it. I don’t care. I want to grow, I don’t care about comfort. I don’t consciously seek for comfort.
If I seek for it, it’s my lazy subconscious mind or bodily urges that want to be satisfied. But my desire for growth pushes me outside of my comfort pit.
You don’t grow by being complacent and smug. Your muscles grow through effort and pain. You must literally strain them to the point of damage, so they can regrow and rebuild stronger.
The same is true for mind and spirit.
“Unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest.” John 12:24
Your old self must be sentenced to death or you will not expand beyond yourself.
Choose one of the two — pain of stagnation or reward of progress. Don’t comfort yourself to the death of your potential.