“Growth only happens outside of your comfort zone”.
We are so f*cking comfortable. We don’t even realize it. We get accustomed to this comfort and have absolutely no reason to leave it. Why would we ever want to break free of 24/7 Seamless? Netflix available to us with a few clicks? Thousands of social media stories to peruse?
Nearly everything we could ever want is on-demand, only a few clicks away. Why on Earth would we change?
It. Is. So. Easy.
But, there’s a major problem with this endless comfort.
It’s slow and sneaky, but deadly.
This abundance turns into an obstacle. It breeds complacency. We end up being accustomed to a lifestyle that comes easy. We have no reason to leave our comfort zone and this abundant lifestyle.
Then, when something “bad” happens, we lose our sh*t. We’re arrogant enough to think that the universe is out to get us. It’s the universe’s fault when we lose our job, when we don’t get that raise, or even worse, when the subway gets re-routed on our way to work in the morning.
You’ve got to be kidding. I am going to be late to my company-wide morning at 9am. The stupid f*cking L train. I hate New York.
Newsflash: The universe doesn’t give a sh*t about you.
“Life owes me something? Bull. If I’m alive, if there’s a breath in my body, that means I owe life everything. How can I give more than I’ve ever received today?” – Jairek Robbins
Not only that, but the universe doesn’t owe you anything.
You woke up this morning didn’t you? 150,000 people didn’t. Celebrate the fact you’re alive and have another day to do something great.
Your mom won’t shut up on the phone? That’s okay, enjoy it. She won’t be around forever.
Look, I’m not here to preach. I’m no different than you. But I’ve been exposed to uncomfortable situations, intentionally and unintentionally, and I can attest to the incredible growth that has come from these experiences.
It took me traveling the world to understand how blessed I truly am, and just how good I have it.
It took me scuba diving alongside (friendly?) ten foot sharks to realize things are rarely ever as bad as we expect.
It took a failed business and thousands of dollars lost for me to truly believe in myself.
It took spending the night with my grandpa on his last day on Earth to truly understand that our timeline is running out.
Over the last few years I’ve read many books, read many blogs and watched many videos from people much more successful than myself. This has certainly been one of the most valuable investments of my time. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with 50+ inspiring, world-class individuals: millionaires, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, best-selling authors and more.
In speaking with these individuals, two themes keep coming up, again and again:
1) Our twenties are the most important time of our lives, and will likely determine how we spend the next few decades of our lives:
Your twenties will set the stage for the rest of your life. If you spend it all wearing a suit and tie and climbing the corporate ladder, there’s a good chance that’s what you’ll be doing until retirement.
Take calculated risks. I quit my job to move to Thailand when I was 24. Worst case scenario? I run out of money, come back and get a new job. At that age (and even at 30 or later), you still have plenty of time to build up a career – and that global travel will only make your resume look better.
Best case? You live the rest of your life on your own terms.
Bottom line, your twenties are the time to take a chance on what you want to do. Your older self will thank you.
– Sean Ogle of Location180.com
2) Life experience that pushes us outside of our comfort zone is the most valuable investment of our time and money that we can make:
Understand that money can be used to buy things or experiences. Those who spend on experiences live the richer of the two lives. Travel as much as possible outside your comfort zone and always challenge your assumptions.
– Adam Braun, Best-selling author and Founder of Pencils of Promise
Being comfortable is fine, yes. But it can’t be all that we ever know. If it is, we’re doomed. We won’t grow, we won’t reach our true potential, and we will lead an average life.
Leading an average life and looking back on my life forty or fifty years from now with regret is my absolute worst nightmare. Living a half-assed life, not tapping into your unique gifts, always delaying them for “someday” that never comes… what could be worse than that?
The longer you wait, the harder it is to make a change. @DifferentHunger (Click to Tweet!)
Embrace your youth. Take calculated risks and seek out the uncomfortable while you still have the time.
You’re reading this right now. This means you’re alive. This means you have time. Why not start today?
Matt Kohn is an adventurer, Crossfitter and web designer. He authors Different Hunger where he provides ambitious 20-somethings with practical insights and tools to improve their mindset, productivity and lifestyle. You can find him on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Image courtesy of unsplash.com.