Eazy, Smeazy

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. S...

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

This article expands on the quote I posted a couple of days ago. This is an excerpt from my weekly newspaper column — it is longer than my usual posts–sorry:

“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.”  So says Robert Allen. He is the co-author of “The One Minute Millionaire”. No, I have not read his book. I just Googled him and that is what his official site says. He is apparently an author and successful. Enough said. It was really just his quote I was interested in—but people always seem to want to know who the person is that you quoted, so I have now done my due diligence. He is not my dry cleaner or the guy who cuts my lawn. Not of course that they wouldn’t have something profound to say—except I do not really have a dry cleaner and the guy who most often cuts my lawn is my eldest son.

So back to the quote. I often wonder why things always have to be difficult—because obviously being outside your comfort zone is going to be, well…..uncomfortable. I have picked up millions (okay hundreds) of books that start out telling you how to do something the easy way, but then, in the end what they are expounding is not easy at all.  For a long time, I was attracted to books that had the word “simple” in their title. My definition of simple involves things that are straightforward and uncomplicated.

Now I do not expect things to necessarily be easy (although that would be nice—it is too much to ask) nor would I want them to be effortless, as that would just take the fun out of everyday life—but why I ask you, do we always have to be ready to climb out of our comfort zone? It is our comfort zone for a reason—we are happy there.

But I guess that is the whole point. We are not always happy in our comfort zone. Things get stale, too workaday, and we find ourselves stuck in a rut without something to leverage us out of it. That is when we need to employ Allen’s theory.

So, taking that into account I have decided to climb out of my comfort zone, which will involve some hard work on my part. Perhaps, I will start out as simply as my feeble mind can conjure up, and work my way up to the bigger things. So here is my tentative list. I call it my “walking on fire” list, even though I never intend to walk on fire—I like the analogy.

Walk on Fire List

1. I will go to the grocery store with a list and follow it religiously. I will shop the outside perimeter of the store (as apparently that is where all the healthy stuff is) and avoid my evil cupcakes, my addiction to non-diet cola drinks (which I have kept under wraps since I found out how much sugar I am consuming), and my propensity for bologna (which I also try to avoid for many reasons—but sometimes I just can’t help myself). But the big thing here is I am going to stick to my list.

2. I am going to learn how to pump gas, as gas is always cheaper at those places where you pump your own gas. This is way out of my comfort zone, but I am determined.

3. I am going to write for my blog every day. (Okay this is not out of my comfort zone as I am already doing that—but I need to succeed at something on this list.)

4. I am going to become a stand-up comedian. Now this is so far out of my comfort zone that it is in someone else’s. First of all I hate memorizing, and I have never seen a stand-up comedian go on stage with notes written on a card. Second, I hate talking in front of people. Seriously, it is like a disease. Ask me my name in front of more than two people and I forget it. Third, I do not take criticism well (though a lot of comedians don’t either—but they just work it into their act.) Fourth, I try to make it a practice not to swear or be off-colour, thus cutting my audience down to about three people who would be interested in anything I would have to say. And fifth—okay this is not sounding too promising, I know—but if you don’t have dreams………..

5. I am going to stop procrastinating, get so organized I will not recognize myself, drive further than 15 miles from my home, and make a million in a minute like Mr. Allen. So there. If you can’t dream big, why dream at all?

(And yes, I know I did not spell easy correctly just in case you were wondering.)

Cover of "The One Minute Millionaire"

Cover of The One Minute Millionaire

Published in: on August 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm  Comments (32)  
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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lou Ann, this was so great and your list — outstanding!!! I must be at the precipice of a life change because I find myself being uncomfortable a lot these days, so a list sounds like a really good beginning to getting out of my comfort zone. You’ve inspired me to do that — thank you. :).

    • just as long as you do not take a fire walk — I hear they can be dangerous – I would love to see your list –

  2. Good for you! What a wonderful list you have come up with, perhaps I should make one of my own.

    • you like lists — so go to it young lady and let me know what is on it if you want to share

  3. Wow, stand up comedy – you’d be great at it, but like you, I hate talking to crowds, so I can understand the trepidition. And would you believe that I never pumped gas until my 30’s? Not sure why – I guess I just never wanted to look like I didn’t know what I was doing. Good luck with your list.

  4. I think my stage is my blog and my column so far.
    I will not tell you what decade I am in and still do not pump my own gas–that is a secret

  5. I’m transitioning outside of my comfort zone soon & yes – change is on it’s way…

  6. Such an outstanding post! I adored your jumping off point and your analogy. Really excellent..

    I so did not get your name right I see now (comment on my blog) But now I suppose I will have to try to determine your eye color. 🙂

    Seriously this is the best post I’ve read today (sorry folks) and I’m so glad I headed over. I have to check and see why your alerts are still not hitting my new mail folder.
    if they are in my spam again I am going to …oh I don’t know what i’ll do.. but I am warning that spam folder now…

    • well thank you for making my day – I found a good blog in my spam today
      my eyes are hazel – sort of on the grey green side–when I wore contacts they were green
      also I am 5’51/2″ (lost 1/2″ somewhere) and gorgeous – at least I can say that until I post a pic on my blog

  7. I’m an avid list maker but I’ve never written a Walk on Fire List. What a great idea! I might even have to try making one of my own.

  8. I’m glad you have a sense of humor. Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  9. What a great post!! I was the shyest child on the face of the planet, so I have spent most of my adult life so far trying to pull myself out of my comfort zone, and I must say I have done pretty well. I can actually stand up for myself now. However, I must disagree with one thing on your list. Avoid the cupcakes?!?! Are you crazy??? Come on now, you know life would not be worth living without the cupcakes!!! LOL

    • I am glad you have pulled yourself out of your shyness; and secretly I agree with you about the cupcakes

  10. Funny post…..stand up comedy eh? Way out of my comfort zone, although I do pump my own gas.

  11. “If you can’t dream big, why dream at all?”

    That right there should be a life lesson taught to every single person in the world. You’d think it’s common sense but apparently lots of people think this is balderdash. (Yes, I just used the word balderdash. Don’t judge.) Great list! I’ll be expecting you on youtube doing your comedian act any day now. 😉

  12. I love going out of my comfort zone. Kurt doesn’t. But then when he follows along, he ends up being glad he tried something new.

    • I think I am more like Kurt – drag me kicking and sceaming out of my comfort zone, then I find it is not so bad — wish I were more like you.

  13. You know you have really got me thinking hard again and I am not sure I can get out of my comfort zone until I clean it up. You see even my comfort zone is a mess. I am desperate to get out of this zone so that I can do other stuff but I can’t until I’ve cleaned up – I’m not sure. Any suggestions?

    • this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black and actually your comment is a valid one – how do we get out of our comfort zone, if even our comfort zone is not comfortable
      I think you have already solved you problem just knowing you need to “neaten” up before moving on, but you will–you have so much going on, you do not need to move out your zone yet

  14. Soar like an eagle and enjoy the adventure!

  15. You’ve inspired me to try to pump the gas too!… and make my own list… in the ( probably) short time I’ve got available!

    • tell me how you make out–if I learn to pump gas, I am sure I will write a victory post!

  16. Stand up comedy has been on my list for years….ohhh the stories and jokes I could tell!!!

    • good luck with it — I have my doubts I will ever get up on stage – but you may just do it! 🙂

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