Saturday, January 02, 2010

Curious about The Zone: What Does It Mean to You? What Is the Impact of Your Zone?

Definition of Zone: A life zone; as, Littoral zone, Austral zone, etc. A series of planes having mutually parallel intersections. Circuit; circumference. To girdle; to encircle.

That's the best thing about writing, when you're in that zone, you're porous, ready to absorb the solution.” - Michael Chabon, American author

When I picked “zone” for this week’s blog, I was thinking about the zone that Michael Chabon is writing about. When we are so involved and passionate about what we are doing we lose complete track of time and anything else that is happening around us. It has also been referred to as “being in the state of flow.”

However, when I started investigating zone quotations, I was reminded of comfort zones – which can be both helpful and detrimental – and other types of zones. I will not use the quotations about war zones, and, thankfully, there weren’t many. I do want to question the good and the bad of comfort zones.

Yes, we can rely upon our comfort zones too much and therefore lose the benefits that results from taking risks. And yet, I submit to you that maintaining and using certain comfort zones can establish rewarding routines. For example, I was watching a “productivity” video presented by one of my favorite gurus, Eben Pagen. He extolled the virtues of establishing healthy routines – especially the first hour of the morning. I teach fitness classes five days a week and even though I am working hard physically, I am in one of my comfort zones. Nothing wrong with that - considering the great payoff!

I know that you will be prompted to thinking in different ways about zones, after reading some of the following quotations:

  • Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” - Brian Tracy, American author and motivator
  • I'm at a point where I don't have to wait for the income from the record to survive, so I'm in a comfortable zone, but I'll make rap records as long as I feel I have something to rap about.” - Ice T, American musician
  • Working out is my biggest hobby. It's my Zen hour. I just zone out.” - Zac Efron, American actor
  • To the degree we're not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves.” - Peter McWilliams, American writer
  • I was deep in the zone of practicing almost constantly.” - Pat Metheny, American musician
  • You lose your habitual behavior, which allowed you to sort of zone out. You have to be here, you have to be now, you have to be present.” - Sally Field, American actress
  • So I had to just kind of go back to the hotel, take a shower, sit quiet, dig down deep, warm up, and allow myself to move into some kind of zone. And then I remembered that a lot of my favorite musical moments are not about perfection.” - Kathy Mattea, American musician

And three more to chew on:

  • So you have to force yourself out of a comfort zone and really try to figure out what are the key ingredients, the key skill sets, the key perspectives that are necessary, and then figure out a way to attract the very best people to fill those particular roles.” - Steve Case, American businessman
  • Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.” - Louis Aragon, French poet
  • If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness.” - Les Brown, American presenter and motivator

So, what are your zones? Do you have some comfort zones that help you, or some that are holding you back? Are there types of zones that I have failed to mention? Share them with us.