The greatest obstacle to success is complacency – being in your comfort zone. Highly successful people will tell you that the secret to their success was doing what was uncomfortable; that they were prepared, actually eager, to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve success.
Thomas Edison said, “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” From preschool through college, teachers challenge students to stay out of their comfort zone. Once students master addition, they are introduced to subtraction; then multiplication and division. For their entire educational experience, students are kept out of their comfort zone.
Students learn to deal with the discomfort of homework, quizzes, report cards, and teachers they don’t like. But all discomforts associated with education lead to greater opportunities. It is the student who drops out of school and avoid the discomfort of intellectual stimulation who ends up in the danger zone – illiterate, in poverty, or in prison.
As I write this post, the 2012 Summer Olympics are about to begin. When we watch these Olympians perform, many of us fail to focus on all the disappointments, setbacks, and adversities they all endured to make the trip toLondon. You see, it’s impossible for any Olympian to make it to the Olympics by being in a comfort zone. They clearly understand that to have a chance of winning – to achieve their highest potential – they have to continually work harder and avoid any form of comfort. They know their comfort zone is their danger zone to success.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
How do you turn fear into courage, procrastination into constructive action, and underachievement into overachievement? The answer is: GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! Here are 3 tips for doing just that:
1) Pursue the Gold Medal: In other words, seek to be the best you can be in all that you do. The glory is in the striving, not the attaining. Strive to be the best spouse, the best parent, the best neighbor, and the best at your profession. Always demand more of yourself in pursuit of the “Gold Medal” in all areas of life.
2) Avoid the Pain: Ask the question, “What are the consequences to my life, to myself, and those I love by not giving every day my best shot?” If you are comfortable with mediocrity and underachievement, by all means, remain in your comfort zone. If not, employ the disciplines and enjoy the inspiration from not becoming complacent. Make the necessary sacrifices for high achievement – to avoid the pain of regret.
3) Focus on the Possibilities: Focus on, and work hard on what you desire. How many times have you seen the underdog pull off the big upset? But you see, it wasn’t an upset at all. The dreamers never gave up on their dreams. Refuse to give up on yours, and never stop striving to attain all that is possible for you.