Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays, a newsletter aimed at giving you a dose of relaxed reading at the end of each week. This is the 18th edition of Simpler Sundays. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s newsletter.
You might have seen this kind of image. If not this image, then you must have heard quotes on a similar theme that everything worthy lies outside of your comfort zone. To be honest, even I have shared similar kinds of quotes in the past.
It seems like a good advice but today I’ll tell you to not get out of your comfort zone.
But why am I saying this? Let me tell you why.
The problem with this approach is that it’s over-generalized and too simplistic. It sounds good in quotes and social media pages but when we decide to implement it, we skip many important aspects of it.
We are told to do hard things, to pursue things that our comfort zone doesn’t allow. But ultimately, we start making decisions using a single metric of whether a thing is hard to do or not. Whether it’s out of our comfort zone or not. This is the point of contention here.
Let me tell you a story to explain what I mean.
Jason is an aspiring author. He is in his mid-20s and works in a bank. After coming back from his full-time job in the bank, he tries to spare some time every day for his writing. He dreams to write a sci-fi novel one day and works every day to sharpen his writing skills.
One day, Jason’s friend Dan introduces him to a social media influencer. This guy, Samuel, is also a life coach and he helps people become more productive. After watching some of Samuel’s videos on Instagram, Jason decides to hire him for life coaching.
During the initial few days, Jason feels really excited to work with Samuel who teaches him various tricks to maximize his productivity. Samuel also guides him on how to tackle life challenges in a better way.
Samuel tells Jason to consistently push himself out of his comfort zone. He asks Jason to pursue hard things. Taking his advice, Jason starts pursuing different things.
Jason is an introvert and isn’t particularly good at connecting with people. So, following Samuel’s advice, Jason takes up a part-time sales job to improve his interpersonal skills.
Jason doesn’t have a great physique. So, to improve his physique, he joins a gym.
To work on his public speaking skills, Jason becomes a member of the public speaking club.
All these things are hard for him. They are out of his comfort zone. And pushing himself to do all these things, actually helps him get better at them.
But here’s the catch.
In doing all of these things, he ignores one important aspect of his life: Writing.
He gets too busy in doing the part-time sales job, going to the gym, and attending public speaking meetings that he struggles to find any time for writing.
In pushing himself out of his comfort zone, he ignores the things that are in his comfort zone. Improved interpersonal skills, physique, and public speaking skills are good to have, but they provide little to no help to Jason in achieving his ultimate goal which is to become an author.
So, instead of blindly pursuing only hard things, if Jason had put his focus on which hard things to pursue, he would have benefitted a lot more.
Instead of getting out of his comfort zone just for the sake of it, if Jason had paid attention to the where and when, he would have benefitted a lot more.
Instead of pursuing different unrelated fields, if he had gotten out of his comfort zone in the writing field itself, he would have benefitted a lot more.
That’s a lesson we all can learn from Jason’s story. Pushing yourself out of the comfort zone is probably not a bad advice, but you must know where and when.
If you want to be a writer, push yourself toward writing more. Push yourself by experimenting with different writing genres. Push yourself by learning about the publishing process. Pushing yourself in a completely unrelated field wouldn’t do much good for you initially. Expansion is important but you must first excel at one thing.
Intentionality is the better approach
Intentionality means pursuing things deliberately and purposefully. Instead of thinking in terms of whether a particular thing is out of your comfort zone or not, you must think of it with intentionality.
Here’s what I mean. Instead of blindly doing anything that is outside of your comfort zone, you must choose things that are not only outside of your comfort zone but also are aligned with your greater goal.
Applying what we’ve discussed, our initial image looks something like this now.
So, do hard things. Get out of your comfort zone. But make sure you move in the right direction.
Or else, don’t get out of your comfort zone at all.
The Good Word
Here is this week’s Good Word:
VyasSpeaks Featured Post
This week’s featured post is about reflection.
That’s all for this week. I’ll see you next Sunday.
Stay safe and take care.