It’s good to be here again this week. Last week had it’s up’s and downs like any other week and I grateful I was able to make the best of it. I hope you all had an amazing weekend. I am not one to talk much about my personal life here on my blog; reason being I try not to stray too far away from things I feel can help others in my discussion, however, I feel that every once in a while I can allow my readers into my world just so that we can connect more.
In my previous blogs, A travelers notepad 1&2, I did express some thoughts concerning where my partner and I currently live and the discomfort of having to be in a high consumer based metropolitan city. We have been deliberating on it and we are seriously looking at the options we have and how we can live in a place where we have less of the “city chaos”. As things unfold I’ll definitely keep you all in the loop. Nonetheless, there are other areas of life that we still have to pay attention to regardless of where we live at the moment. There are some of us who are self-motivated and are used to constantly setting new heights to reach and striving to achieve them as best as we can. There are others who need help with motivation and direction and once you point them in the right direction they can manage to get there. Then there are those who are not self-motivated, who refuse to be motivated, who resent being advice and no matter how much you try to point them in the right direction they always go back to their status quo.
I have seen all three and I try as much as I can to be the first to the best of my ability. So while studying these three categories of people there are definitely a lot of factors that come into play as to why they act the way they do. One of these factors is the comfort zone. The comfort zone has destroyed many people faster than pain, wars, adversity, poverty, etc has ever done. The comfort zone is where many people get to in various stages and aspects of their lives and they just feel that they are now entitled to whatever they want or they feel there is not much to do from there. In some cases of successful people who reach stardom in their respective endeavors and then relax in that comfort zone, we can at least take a second to applaud the fact that they actually did reach a commendable height however because they were too result-focused rather than being process-guided they rested too soon on their oars.
The second case is most undesirable. When people reach that plateau in their lives and refuse to climb the next hill or Mountain, then they submit themselves to the wolves of the comfort zone, who come quickly to devour them. Many of you might be already familiar with how the comfort zone can affect goals and aspirations hence I won’t linger much on that aspect, instead I would like us to see how the comfort zone can affect one’s character. Recently while reading a book on Mindset Psychology by Carol S Dweck Ph.D., she mentions an interesting point about “praising kids” versus praising their efforts. She explains (I am paraphrasing), that when we praise a kid rather than the process that they undertook, we risk putting them in the fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. This is where I want to draw a correlation. Comfort zones are synonymous with fixed status and calculated risk or progress is synonymous with growth.
In my life, I have taken quite a good number of risks and each time I look back, regardless of how the outcome was I feel it was a great learning experience and above all, it took me out of my comfort zone. So I can say when it comes to challenging myself to step out of my physical comfort zone to achieve a goal, I have some experience. Tough as they may have been I somehow or the other was able to go through them. The next stage of my life is where I am currently learning how to apply the same principle to character, emotion, and psychology. In order to achieve something that you never had, one must be ready and willing to do something he has never done. Just as I have been able to achieve physical things that I didn’t have before by doing things I had never done, I am daily learning now in the phase of my life how to achieve certain subtle emotional and psychological growth by doing things I have never done.
When I wanted to get my Black belt as a Karate Instructor (I was Eighteen years old at the time), I read a lot of books by many Karate grandmasters and in one of those books I think my Matsutastu Oyama (founder of Kyokushinkai Karate), it was mentioned that the biggest opponent we will face in our lives is ourselves. Back then as an Eighteen-year-old, I understood it theoretically and differently. Then my understanding was a little limited to the martial art and I understood it as follows: that in order for me to get better I had to practice often and that practice was essential to me becoming a good fighter and martial artist. Yes, at the time this was true and is true because al I had my mind and focus on was in using the martial art I had learned in the most physical way; competitions. My dad then told me; “if you do not learn to apply these principles of Karate to your life then you may be a good fighter and win medals and certificates (which I did get), but you won’t be able to really fight the real battles of life.
It was at that moment I knew I had to do better. I began to try to go deeper than just the physicals and till this day I can say maybe only now I am beginning to fully grasp the real meaning of one of the principles of Karate; “Karate is NOT practiced only in the Dojo” It is a life long pursuit. So today as I share with you all these insights I do so more from the perspective of one who is challenging himself and trying to grow from that experience while being vulnerable enough to share it with the world at large. I pray this helps someone take on the big step.
Till next week, please read, share and follow for more.