A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
For years I ran 3 miles each day on the same route. I was comfortable with the pace. I knew what to expect around each bend. There were never any surprises. I stayed in shape, but I never improved. When we find something we do moderately well, it’s easy to just stick with it.
At some point, for whatever reason, I began to run further – 4, 5, then 6 miles. An interesting thing happened. I found that running became easier for me when I passed the four mile mark. That is when the adrenaline and endorphins kicked in for me. I am training for my first marathon now.
What would have happened if I had not challenged myself? I would have continued running that three mile route for as long as I was able. Nothing wrong with that, but I would never have known the feeling of accomplishing something greater. In sticking with my comfort zone, I was avoiding the heights and depths of life.
Familiarity, safety, security, predictability – just saying these words gives me a feeling of comfort. It is common nature to crave and strive for these conditions which seem to smooth out the ups and downs of emotions, the hills and valleys of life. When you find yourself safe in the warm forcefield of comfortable predictability, your path through life becomes less bumpy.
It would be difficult to voluntarily choose to abandon these ideals, but sometimes we are pushed forcefully from the nest against our wishes, possibly through divorce, unemployment, illness, and various challenges. Fortunately, in my life experience, I have found that obstacles create the birth of creativity, resourcefulness, and growth. When a boulder falls into a stream, the water finds away to flow around it, sometimes forging new routes to the same destination.
The question I want you to ask yourself is, if you left comfort behind, and pushed yourself to new challenges, what could you accomplish? I think we are here on this earth to discover and achieve our highest potential. Sitting in the safe comfort of your armchair in your cozy family home should certainly be something you have the right to enjoy, but every once in a while, you may want to push your boundaries, face a challenge, try to achieve something remarkable. Like the water in a river, we must keep moving forward or we stagnate.
I have started to think, if I can finish this marathon (and the jury is still out on that verdict), what else can I accomplish? Pushing myself, has changed the way I think and opened my mind to new possibilities.
Remember when you were faced with a fork in the road of your life and you chose your current path? That other road is still there and it might be possible to see where it leads. Ideally, I would like to count on the comfort of having people in my life who will be there when I need their support and life circumstances that will be slightly predictable, but I’d like to balance that familiar journey with some excursions into the unknown realm of possibilities where I can explore my potential for growth.