Do Not Stagnate in a Comfort Zone

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Reasons to justify your fears or excuses are not hard to come by. You may hide in your comfort zone because your family does not support what you want out of life.

By Aqeel Ansari

People dream of success, but they generally hesitate or reject to strive for it. Many begin the striving but turn back once they meet sudden difficulties. Why do they reject, hesitate or turn back? We address the question in order to guard against what possibly may hold you back or interrupt your striving.
We live in a cause-effect world. That is, for something to happen (effect) something ought to happen (cause). The reality of the cause-effect relationship teaches a couple of lessons. First, it defines change in the nature of our world. The earth spins at its axis to cause night and day; it revolves around the sun to cause change of seasons. If what you want to make of life is to happen, you must cause it to happen. Human action is the cause and YOU are the agent of change.
Next, the cause-effect relationship teaches the idea of exchange. You give up something, you have to get something you want. You often hear, “There is no free lunch.” In fact, no voluntary exchange will ever occur unless you value more what you want than the value of what you give up. We are discussing the nature of exchange in human relationships, any and all.
The idea of sacrifice is inherent in the idea of exchange. In fact, every exchange entails sacrifice. It is reasonable to assume that you are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes in exchange for success you want. Why shouldn’t you sacrifice whatever it takes? You seek to live in peace and harmony. You want to experience ease, equity and prosperity. It is not reasonable to prefer difficulty, inequity and misery. One thing we know for sure. The value of success in the estimation of people who do not make the exchange does not exceed the value of what they give up in exchange. What explains their unwillingness to sacrifice are the things they have, but do not want to give up.
Comfort zone is one such thing that people have difficulty exchanging for success. What is a comfort zone? The dictionary does not define the expression. An internet source explains it as mental boundaries within which you experience an unfounded sense of security. Another source defines it as state of inertia where you set your life on a path that gives you comfort and you feel at ease. You create your comfort zone; everyone uniquely defines his comfort zone.
Imagine you have a steady, undemanding job that pays well. You have pretty good relationship with your spouse. Your children are in school and happy. You are in reasonably good health. You are building a modest nest for old age. Your financial situation is not great but you are willing to live with it. You have created your comfort zone. But how about YOU? Are you experiencing success? Once you do some soul searching, you will agree with me that your comfort zone is not leading you to success”¦it is leading you to stagnation.
Reasons to justify your fears or excuses are not hard to come by. You may hide in your comfort zone because your family does not support what YOU want out of life or you view government policies to be discriminatory. It is your attitude that defines the comfort zone. But your attitude is always under construction. Reshape your attitude and say to yourself, “I’m not nervous or scared. I’m going to sacrifice whatever it takes and strive for success with a big smile.”
You create your comfort zone, so you can undo it. It is a make-believe arrangement that holds you back from taking charge of your life. Apply the power of mind to expand the capacity to think and feel. Take small steps and gradually pull out of the comfort zone. It helps you build confidence. Here are a few suggestions. Note down the activities that usually fill your day and then plan the day. A day has only twenty-four hours and it is all you have because yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Watch the company you keep. Register for a college course that interests you. Read books to learn. Begin self-study of the Qur’an. Read daily a couple of verses with meaning and explanation. Think about the verses when you are not busy.
Know that your journey to success may be long depending on how big a success you want. For example, Nelson Mandela does not hesitate to exchange twenty-seven years of his life for a prison cell in order to liberate his people. And he does!
(The writer can be reached at [email protected] and he is based at Houston, Texas, US).