“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” —NEALE DONALD WALSCH

From Ferriss, Timothy (2012-11-20). The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life (Kindle Locations 5110-5111). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.

I like this quote because its similar to a personal mantra…

If you’re not growing, you’re dead.

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  1. I agree about the growth statement, but would beg to differ on the other one. I find the “get out of your comfort zone” idea is often used to motivate people in directions the speaker thinks is good for them, or as a hammer to get others to do something unpleasant, or simply to get others to be more like the speaker (often as a source of self-validation).

    The best teachers/leaders are those who can get other people to realize their own, personal, individual, potential. For example, work like the “strengths” studies indicates that our most fruitful (ie, useful AND satisfying) activity comes when we evolve our innate talents into strengths, and use those passionately. It may involve hard work, but whether or not it’s “comfortable” is beside the point. We may become uncomfortable, or we may be drawn into something we’re quite happy with. Being comfortable at something doesn’t make it wrong, but we are often taught just that.

    True life is fulfilling who we were each made to be, even if that looks boring to everyone else. That’s often harder than being heroic, at least in our culture.

    Too much verbiage, but I’ve been pondering exactly this topic lately (albeit in a slightly different context).

    • Regarding statements like the above being used as a form of manipulation, I guess I hadn’t noticed this but I’m sensitized to it now and will probably look for it. It’s an interesting tactic on the speaker’s part. I have similar reactions to tactics like this when I don’t trust the underlying motivations.

      Regarding getting out of your comfort zone, I read it differently and it probably has to do with how I define comfort zone. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe that stress is the difference between reality and expectations (stress = reality – expectations). A little stress (discomfort) is a good thing because it usually drives you to align expectations with reality. For example, the process of learning something is converting something you want to know into something that you do know or if it hurts, don’t do that anymore. Stress is a balancing force.

      A lot of stress is a bad thing because it can cause you to give up hope, internalize it causing some sort of harm to yourself, or externalize it causing some other form of harm. Stress or discomfort, even subtly mild discomfort, is the fuel for human action (growth). Used properly, great things are accomplished. Used poorly, it’s like dropping a match into a half filled container of gas.

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