Sunday, December 17, 2006

Curious about Comfort: Are You Being Shackled by It or Do You Make Use of It?

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.” - Alan Alda, actor

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” - Denis Waitley, writer

First of all, I want to say that being comfortable with certain areas of our lives, careers and businesses isn’t all bad. However, we are “shackled” when we never try the new and uncomfortable.

I suggest that you make a list of those areas where you do feel comfortable and why, along with a list of the goals and ideas that make you feel uncomfortable and why. If your “comfortable” list is quite long, while the “uncomfortable” list is short, I suggest that it is probably time to tackle some of the uncomfortable actions and ideas. You will quickly discover that overcoming the discomfort and making the uncomfortable, comfortable, you will grow you self esteem quotient at an incredible pace. You will also start enjoying achievements that you never imagined possible.

Several years ago, I worked in a restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights. I always looked forward to going to work, because after working there for years, I had reached a high level of comfort with the job. Yes, I still needed to work hard and think, but I did know “the ropes” so to speak.

Most new areas we try to conquer automatically come with discomfort. Even though I am what I consider to be computer-literate, I find that when I try something new - software, hardware, Internet standards and development/design - just like everyone else, I am uncomfortable and apprehensive.

As usual, I found a plethora of “comfort” quotations by the experts that we all can learn from:
  • Man loves everything that satisfies his comfort. He hates everything that wants to draw him out of his acquired and secured position and that disturbs him. Thus he loves the house and hates art.” - Adolf Loos, architect
  • Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what preserve the heart and secure comfort.” - Humphrey Davy, scientist
  • What keeps so many employers back is simple unwillingness to pay the price, to make the exertion, the effort to sacrifice their ease and comfort.” - Orison Swett Marden, writer
  • Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” - James Herriot, writer
  • If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” - C. S. Lewis, author

Here are a few with an interesting twist:

  • A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” - Lao Tzu, philosopher
  • Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” - Billy Graham, clergyman
  • I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots.” - William Butler Yeats, poet
  • There is a certain comfort in waking up and finding that Michael Jackson is still the Big Story. At least it tells you that nothing horrible has happened in the world that would force them to move on to real news.” - Pat Sajak, entertainer
  • Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” - John F. Kennedy, president

Tell me. Is your life comfortable - or possibly too comfortable? What uncomfortable tasks could you take on to help you achieve your goals? Are their people in your life that make you uncomfortable? How much discomfort are you willing to stand to reach the next level in your life, career, relationships, and business?

And, of course, two more quotations to consider this upcoming week:

  • We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. - Earl Nightingale, entertainer
  • The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. - Martin Luther King, Jr., leader