On my couch, in my sweats, with sushi, tea, and a good book. That’s the epitome of my comfort zone. If it were up to me, that’s where you’d find me on any given Friday night. Okay, let’s be honest, that’s where you can find me on most Friday nights. There is something so inviting and familiar about your comfort zone. It’s what you know, it’s safe, it requires no risk. It’s the job that you stick with even though you don’t love what you do. It’s the person you continue dating even though you don’t see a future with them. It’s the city you never move out of, the words you never speak, the dream you don’t pursue, the questions you never ask.
Yes, there are all sorts of logical reasons why we choose to stay inside that comfort zone. We might fail. We might be alone. We don’t want to hurt anyone. We are afraid of what people will think. We might be told no. We might be told yes. Or maybe we just think we’ll get around to stepping outside of it tomorrow, one day, some day, but not today.
Entertain with me, for a moment, the notion of what could happen if today was the day we took responsibility for tomorrow. Yes, this would require a risk and I realize the not-so-subtle implication of danger embedded in any risk, whether reckless or calculated. Could this risk, however, be worth it?
I would venture to say that it is only through stepping outside of our comfort zone that we can step into our full potential.
Jason Jaggard, Pepperdine professor, author of Spark, and overall social innovator for cultural change, teaches that taking a healthy risk is always worth it, even if you fail. So what constitutes a “healthy risk” and how do you define what that would be in your life?
According to Jason, a healthy risk is any risk that makes you a better person or the world a better place.
- It is immediate (read: this week)
- controllable (in your power to do)
- challenging (outside of your comfort zone)
- and positive (you and/or everyone else will be better off).
Which begs the question, what risk can I take right now for a better tomorrow? Perhaps the answer is simple. Perhaps it is more complicated. Either way, I’d be willing to guess that it begins with a single step. A step that will take you closer to living the life you are meant to live instead of just pondering it.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who once said “a ship is always safe at the shore, but that is not what it was built for.” Dare I say, you, too, were meant for more?