I was recently listening to a radio show while driving home from work when a caller was put through into the live broadcast telling about her past travel adventures and her plan to travel from the Netherlands to India by public transport. While she was endlessly talking about all places around the world she has already been to at her age of 24 she was coming up to make her point while it was time for her to do something less comfortable…
Apart from my initial reaction to laugh out loud some other thought came to my mind: This must be a natural reaction of a generation that didn’t need to worry about anything in their lives so far. As many of us this generation luckily didn’t have to deal with war, hunger, plagues and other life threatening events. But that’s not all. It seems to be more about the fact that nothing really needs to be achieved anymore. Goods are just available. Everything needed for a comfortable life can be bought. Parents only want the very best for their kids and start to provide them with everything instead of letting them earn things. Many grown-ups are so comfortable in their lives that they don’t even see the beauty of it anymore. Some people even develop diseases or psychological disorders.
People seem to be bored as hell
because they are not really
The human body and brain is actually not made for comfort. Our ancestors had to hunt and search for food every day and needed to protect themselves from all kinds of threats. In our times these challenges don’t really exist anymore. We have different ones. Mostly we face “challenges” around our daily life – busy schedules, scarceness of time, combination of family and business life, obligations with friends, family, sports clubs, schools and kindergarten, neighbors and many more. People always seem to be in a hurry. Everything must be done. But this ‘must’ is something we create for ourselves. It is a ‘must’ that we live with because we think that society requires it from us. In the end these are no real challenges. Even while we are stressed out and don’t have a lot of time for ourselves we seem to feel a kind of emptiness. We are longing for new goals – some things that we can do for a good reason.
Have you ever wondered
why so many people want to run a marathon or participate in a mud race?
Leaving the own comfort zone is not only the attempt to overcome own boundaries and achieve personal goals. It is a kind of search for what more there is in life. A path away from the daily boring life, even if this seems to be perfect and is exactly as it was planned to be or even if things are very stressful and literally nothing more can be done in the 24 hours of a day. However, breaking out of the daily routine, doing something crazy makes people feel themselves again. Some of them need extreme physical workout, others need to leave the comfort of their normal lives. All of them feel they need to do something extreme.
Does it help? Do they feel better afterwards? Some do and because of that they do it time and time again – hunting for this short moment of satisfaction or total exhaustion. Others find their real calling in something that makes them feel well and special every single day. Typically this happens when people stop trying to achieve things for themselves, but start to help others. The moment people feel meaningful changes a lot in their lives.
So while trying to get out of our comfort zone we should wonder if it does anything to us in the end. Do we do it just for the sake of fun and distraction or do we really undergo a kind of transformation? Do we really believe in it and can we take our lives to the next level? Think about it!
Stepping out of the own comfort zone can be highly overrated… sometimes it is all about setting the right priorities and focus on the next steps to take…