I’ve often felt that the concept of comfort zones are over-rated. I wonder if it is even practical. To think of it, if everyone is really within their comfort zone, would anyone have problems? Wouldn’t everyone be happy with what they are doing? It’s not as easy as how it may seem. It takes ages to find a comfort zone and get used to the challenges that surface. Once that’s done, only then can you sit cross legged with your hands behind your head and call yourself to be in your comfort zone.

Now that you’re in a comfort zone, how long should you be here? The answer to this question decides your future.

It might seem only practical to stay comfortably ensconced in your zone. Given how long and how challenging it is to even find this zone in the first place, it might come across as the best option. But the problem is, when you stay in the same place for too long you get complacent; both when it comes to judging your abilities as well as that of others around. You assume that you are extraordinary and you can continue to rest on your past glory forever. At the same time, you assume that  you are still better off than the peers you once surpassed. In this rat race which everyone in the world seems to be running, you cannot take it for granted that you will continue to be better than others just because of an instant in the past. Our victories might be important to us and we might want to talk about it for all eternity, but others might surpass our achievements and snatch the coveted position, which we considered to be ours.

Given a choice between the jack of all trades or the king of one, I’d gladly prefer to be the jack of all trades. Today, you are valued better when you have  more skills to showcase. Specialists are important, but those who can multi-task are given more preference, for obvious reasons.

Stepping outside your comfort zone can teach you a great deal about yourself. You get to start from scratch all over again and you have to learn, un-learn and re-learn. It’s a never-ending process. You learn not to breed in familiarity and the perks that come with it. You push yourself into new environments, make the best use of it while you try and adapt to the changes. And most important of all, you get to try your hands in different fields you never had the chance to experiment with. If you succeed, it is another feather in your cap. If you don’t, you still get the experience. At least you will know you tried and couldn’t make it, rather than not having tried and living with that regret.

Why do we do all this? Because we want to learn. And why do we want to learn, because the mind is always thirsty for more. The mind is naturally inquisitive and pushes us to learn till we reach a point where we can understand the science behind it. The more you feed it, the more thirstier it gets. Our mind is like a car. You have to keep it occupied constantly. If you don’t give it the attention it deserves, you never know when it might stop working.

So it all comes to whether you want to keep the car running on uncharted territories or stay comfortably in your garage without moving. The decision is yours, but remember this. The car is meant to move around and not stay in the same place, however tempting it might be. That’s the only way to keep it up and running. 

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