We’re all guilty of it in some way or form. Some of us at the extremes some of us at near negligible levels. Guilty of what? Guilty of being comfortable. Don’t get me wrong being comfortable is ok… To an extent. There is many forms of it after all. Comfortable in the job, comfortable with your routine, comfortable with your nails, etc.
So why is it evil? It’s limiting. Limiting in what sense? Limiting in many senses; development, experience, progression to pick a few. After all if everyone was comfortable with the way we experienced transport to begin with. We probably would be riding horses still and have no cars. If we were comfortable with the speed of trains, we wouldn’t have bullet trains that could get you across cities in fashionable time (of course it seems like Australia is comfortable on this front though).
However, it isn’t just limiting to technological advances but also our own development. By development I’m not just talking about up skilling but also experiences of life in general. Take for example an overseas trip. There are people who are comfortable with taking a tour in a foreign country, mainly because they aren’t familiar with the area or the local language. Then on the flip side you have others who would challenge that comfort and go without a tour or knowing the language. Both are ok, there is no right or wrong but the experiences are different. The latter could take a few wrong turns and end up at an unknown location with beautiful views. After all, someone has to find the gem before displaying the gem.
Despite pointing this out though a lot of us are aware of this on some sort of level. To a bit, to very aware and actioning, to aware but still not doing anything. Admittedly I myself am the latter. So… Why don’t we change? It would vary for everyone but I feel it’s more to do with a combination of fear of the unknown and motivation.
Fear of the unknown would be a common thing for a lot of people. An easy analogy would be the work place for example. If high management comes along and says we’re re-working an operating model which may lead to restructure, take a look around during that announcement. You will see a lot of people nervous, curious, emotions are generally running at this moment. The general thought you can almost see personified is “What does this mean… for me?”. It’s an unknown, people don’t know if they’ll be out of the job, in a new role, doing tasks that they’re not used to. This could also be applied to the earlier example of taking a tour of a country. You’d generally take it to avoid and minimise the unknown factor of if I get lost and can’t communicate.
Not everyone fears the unknown though. Some actually enjoy the unknown and are excited from the possibilities it brings. However motivation may actually hinder them from actioning this. After all you require the motivation to drive something that isn’t entirely necessary. An extreme case of this would be the person who has bright and plausible ideas, constantly pouts about it. But nothing ever eventuates from it, never actioned. Why? I would speculate generally from the lack of motivation. Sure there are real world factors which may contribute to why nothing eventuates however if they had the motivation they would act on addressing it.
Awfully convenient to blame it on motivation? Maybe. Maybe not, it’s subjective. Take Forever 21 the fashion store chain as an example. The owners Jin Sook and Do Won Chang originally immigrated to the US from Korea with very little, no degrees, poor English. They were “motivated” though for a better way of life. They had money issues to begin with having three failed businesses prior, Don had to work as a janitor, gas attendant and barista for years to fund their first successful fashion store before expanding.
Is it to say that the people who do change don’t fear the unknown and are highly motivated? I would say yes in most cases, but of course there are many other external factors involved. Some people have safety nets where if they fail they could fall back on. Others just have no choice. The list goes on. So how do people change? As in take initial steps to something different. Who knows, I’m sure there’s a lot of psychologists doing PhDs and research on human behaviour and what not. But for me I reckon it comes with realising, accepting, and then taking the leap in a nutshell. Realising and accepting I feel is generally half the equation sometimes we’re semi aware but not willing to accept it until a huge life event happens. Be it a near death experience, where you go… I almost went out… Without achieving and ever being satisfied. A sudden hit of realisation. In other cases it may be a slow build up, where one day you just click and go wait a second. Why am I doing this? The other half of taking the leap, actually actioning can be just as hard if not harder. Sometimes you need that reassurance or support from others. As the saying goes, it’s easier said than done. But does it have to be that way?
This is more food for thought and is meaningless in a sense. But I leave you with the thought of what have you been comfortable with up to today? Be it small or big and challenge you to try and take a step out of that evil comfort zone. Why not take a different route to work? You never know you might find something interesting, a new place to chill, a new café to eat at. Or you can just stay comfortable in a dream like state…
“They come to be woken up. The dream has become their reality”