Welcome, come in and sit down. Make yourself ... you ever greeted a guest at your door that way? I ... but maybe we should consider doing so. We usually wantour guests to be
Welcome, come in and sit down. Make yourself uncomfortable. Have you ever greeted a guest at your door that way? I haven’t either, but maybe we should consider doing so. We usually want our guests to be comfortable. But offering discomfort might be a better gift. Why?
Personal growth comes when we push through discomfort. Some say life begins at the end of our comfort zone. Yet think of the time and energy we spend keeping our loved ones and ourselves comfortable. I know I often expend my energy to stay in my comfort zone. At home and work I resist change. Eating the same foods, going to the same restaurants, using the same services and businesses, and associating with the same people, all these keep us feeling comfortable.
But with hindsight I recognize that the major leaps of growth in my life always followed periods of discomfort. Familiar surroundings and situations allow us to live in a sort of autopilot mode. Do you take the same route to work every day? Have you ever realized half way there that you don’t recall getting where you are? You just navigated a familiar route with little conscious effort.
Think about this, which situation do you associate with adventure--the routine or the new and unknown. Which do we call boring--endless repetition of that which we always do or trying something we’ve never done before. In the last moments before this life ends do you want to think of your life as boring and repetitious or an exciting adventure?
Now I’m not suggesting that our lives should be one constant adventure. The routine, the known, helps us to complete our daily tasks with minimal energy output. Calmness and quiet are conducive to meditation and introspection, important to our understanding. But living full time in a comfort zone equates to a life with little growth and growth is why we’re here.
So don’t always strive to be comfortable. And don’t work hard to keep your loved ones feeling comfortable. Strive instead for some regular discomfort in your life. Think of it as a stepping stone to joy. Why? Well, we know we feel joyous when we behave as who we really are; this is our soul shouting encouragement. And who we really are is, for most of us, not who we are being much of the time. Most of us are operating below our highest self. So we’re comfortable at our current level because it’s familiar. But joy comes when we’re being our highest self. The transition in between, a necessary stepping stone, is uncomfortable. We’re out of the familiar, but not yet at the joyous level of highest self. Welcome that feeling of discomfort as an opportunity to advance your life. Take the next steps to joy.
Jerry Lopper is an author, personal coach, and consultant. Jerry combines many years of technology and business experience with a focus on personal growth mentoring and coaching. Jerry recognizes the totality of the human experience—mind, body, and soul—and helps people utilize all that is within them to achieve personal success. Jerry’s latest book, “Who Am I? Why Am I Here?” can be previewed at http://jlopper.home.att.net.