Going Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Some people might ask, “Why would I want to go beyond my comfort zone?” Isn’t comfort the destination? Or at least it makes the journey better. Isn’t comfort part of happiness, and isn’t happiness the purpose of life?

It seems that we have a natural desire to seek comfort. No one wants to make themselves miserable. We don’t go out seeking scratchy ill-fitting clothes, or shoes that are too small. We don’t enjoy smelly, dirty places and we don’t seek friends who are mean and  annoying.

Comfort Isn’t All Good

Although everyone needs some comfort in life, too much of a good thing makes us lazy and weak – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you look around at the natural world you’ll see that it’s designed to provide a lot of challenges, and a bit of comfort. Food doesn’t fall from the sky, it needs to be hunted or grown and harvested. You can get comfortable laying under a shady tree, but when it starts to rain or snow you’ll find a way to create a better shelter.

If you study human nature you’ll also discover that we are perfectly designed with enough ambition to meet the challenges of this world head on. We want to climb the biggest mountains and explore the outer reaches of space. People are naturally motivated to make life better, even more comfortable – but to do that we have to challenge ourselves first, we have to get outside our comfort zone to make progress.

Challenge and Adventure Leads to Fulfillment

We say that joy is the purpose of life, but that’s slightly misleading. Joy is the end result of living to your fullest potential. But to find your greatest potential and fulfill it, you have to challenge yourself and be adventurous. That’s the real purpose of life – to learn and grow your heart through all of life’s experiences, good or bad.

Some people are naturally more progressive, adventurous, outgoing and creative than others. These are people who may find it easier to push beyond comfort on some level, because they have a vision, or passion. Something inside makes them push beyond all odds. They don’t get stuck in their comfort level.

Think of explorers like Lewis & Clarke, Ponce de Leon, or Christopher Columbus. Or inventors like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, or George Washington Carver. These people didn’t sit around taking it easy. To accomplish their tasks and meet their objectives they had to push themselves beyond convention and beyond their comfort level.

We need to learn from these people

That’s also the kind of life that Jesus lived. He didn’t sit around and wait for people to come to him, he was out there teaching, loving, healing and sharing.

My favorite challengers though, are artists. They challenge themselves to express their inner vision regardless of what everyone else sees. In doing so, they challenge others to see life in a new way. They can’t afford to concern themselves with being accepted or understood if they’re going to manifest their inner vision. They just need to put it out there.

My favorite artists are M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, and the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. These guys worked really hard and produced some pretty radical stuff. In doing so they challenge others to:

  • see the world differently
  • go beyond convention and tradition
  • explore new possibilities
  • think abstractly
  • expand concepts of beauty, good & evil

Artists make people think. This is also true of writers, musicians and scientists. But people in all walks of life have the ability to develop these character traits, because we were all designed to learn, grow and accomplish greatthings.

Great People Know a Secret to Success

The type of person I’ve described is unconventional. They’re willing to move beyond what was previously accepted, break with tradition and dare to look at life differently. They want to explore new possibilities.

They have courage, determination, vision, inspiration, and creativity for sure. But, there’s one thing that often gets missed when talking about great people. It’s almost as if it were the invisible key, the secret ingredient to their success. Do you know what that is?

No one lives in a vacuum

Think about it. Could Frank Lloyd Wright build “Falling Waters” by himself? Did Christopher Columbus sail across the ocean on his own funds, by himself? How did all those artists live before they sold any paintings? (You know the saying, “starving artist”?)

Do you remember when Mark Zuckerberg was everyone’s first friend on Facebook? Even he needed people to make his Facebook idea work. He thought of it, and created it, but what if no one cared? Also, to continue to develop Facebook to what it is today took input from a lot of people, and cooperation between people and businesses.

We need each other. You may have the greatest idea in the world but without buy-in from others, without cooperation and support, you wont get very far. Living in your own little bubble might be comfortable, but it won’t be exciting, and you wont learn or accomplish much.

Investment of Heart and Effort are Never Wasted

Life is risky business, you have to take chances if you want to make things happen. Following a new direction is never wasted, even if things don’t work out the way it was intended. Even if you totally fail at something, hitting bottom can open a door to something better.

Learning, growing and making relationships are what life is about. Cooperating with others to accomplish something takes flexibility, the willingness to change and adapt. The Four Position Foundation is basically the symbol of life, because it represents dynamic relationships. Give & take action, without that, there is no life.

The comfort zone is the place where you rest. Your bed & couch are comfortable, the Lazy Boy Recliner & TV are comfortable. Everyone needs a little comfort and rest sometimes, but if you stay there too long you’ll become stagnant. You’ll stop living.

“Rest in Peace” is what we say when someone dies; we don’t wish that for the living.

How to really make stuff happen!

Rev. Moon was the world’s top leader in pushing people beyond their comfort zone – that was his specialty! He knew the secret of relationships and give & take action. He was a visionary, but he knew he couldn’t accomplish anything without buy-in, support and cooperation from others.

He took upon himself the job of motivating people to build a better world. He initiated endless programs and projects in all areas of life, to show people how to work in cooperation with others.

Because he had the internal focus of living for the sake of others, people were motivated by love to work with him. He didn’t live a comfortable life – but it was a crazy, amazing life! And that’s why I had a great life too, because I bought-in to the ideal, to the cause, and to anything it took to make it happen.

It was a wild ride and I’m so glad I was on that ride with him.

Even though Rev. Moon is gone from this world, I’m still on the ride he set in motion. I’m still cooperating with the vision he had for happy families, and a world where people work together to accomplish great things instead of fighting wars. I’m still focused on how to move beyond my personal comfort zone – to love more, to reach more people, and to share with people what he taught me.

If you want to do something great with your life; if you want excitement, adventure, passion and to make a difference in the world – you have to take big risks. But you also have to inspire others to work with you. Great things don’t happen just because of an idea, they happen because people work together focused on a shared vision. Let’s do it!

 

 

 

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