Life begins just on the other side of our comfort zones. Hats off to whoever said this as I testify to this powerful statement. Often, in our fast paced and driven world, we can find ourselves doing the same thing day in and day out. We find ourselves lost in a world of merely passing the days, holding on to jobs that we do not love, simply to pay the bills. We fall into the “at least” category of people who constantly chant the refrains of; “At least I have a job.” “At least I have a roof over my head.” “At least I can get by.” This category of people, have relegated their dreams into the, “Some day my prince will come lifestyle.” Moving into the “at most” category requires crossing over the line of demarcation that separates the people who live out lives of boredom, frustration and survival with those who experience excitement, fulfillment and success. Andre Gide said:
Man cannot discover new oceans
unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Djelani traveling through Morocco
Transformation in our personal lives, our relationships and our businesses, does not occur in doing what we have done over and over again. Real change comes from going out into the unknown. Change calls us to cross over the in-between spaces and into the unknown. Most people never cross that line but by doing so, we build what never was before. Most people never cross that line because they cannot control or predict what might happen so crossing the line requires a sense of letting go. However, in the gap between our comfort zones and the new world, we find new ideas, creative solutions and innovation.
One of the easiest ways to watch this phenomenon happen is through travel. When we travel out of what we know and into lands of the exotic and the uncharted, we open our senses to see with new eyes and to hear with different ears. We give our sensibilities and our sensitivities a renaissance. This rebirth propels us to think differently so that when we return home, we begin to solve our problems differently. We bring new ideas and new solutions.
Of course, we cannot always hop on a plane and explore the diverse corners of the world on a daily basis, but we can bring the practice of doing different things every day to our lives. Drive down a different street each day, go to a different kind of restaurant, introduce ourselves to new people, take classes, or do any of the infinite activities that will support us in being the kind of person who can easily cross over the line of re-inventing, re-creating and re-imagining our personhood. When rehearsed on a daily basis, those who can cross outside of the comforts of what they know will rise up heads and shoulders above others when confronted with the need to change. Change is inevitable, therefore, those who experience it with the most ease are those who have rehearsed crossing the line of the unknown on a daily basis. Going outside the box stands as one of the greatest practices for expanding your successes. This is not to say that stretching out into the unknown is easy but neither is playing at a Beethoven concerto. We start with the basics and grow our potential. As one of my teachers reminded me, “The only problem with going outside the box is that the directions are on the outside.” Going outside of your comfort zones, you will discover the directions but the directions will come from your own heart and you will set the course for your magnificent and delicious life.