Move Out of Your Comfort Zone

The world is changing very fast. What you knew yesterday can be automated, taken over by a computer at any time. It probably already has… and is just waiting to hit you.

The only way to survive today is to continuously innovate, continuously learn new things, and stay ahead of the competition.

If you are not learning, then you are dying. You don’t realize it, but no growth = slow death. Until on day you will become so old, that learning new things will become difficult.

In Who Moved My Cheese, Dr. Spenser Johnson says that when change hits, the first thing people react with is “Why Me?

First we search for cheese, and when we find it, we are happy. We build a life around the cheese – friends, colleagues, social and work life. We crave for cheese, and we love our cheese. We expect our cheese to be there, always, and with time, begin to demand that it be always available to us at all times.

When cheese begins to disappear, or is suddenly swept away from us, we cringe. We cry. We shout. We protest. We disparage the establishment, the government, everyone else. But not ourselves.

The problem we face is that cheese is not guaranteed. Animals must hunt every day. Every lion, polar bear, bird or ant must begin a new day, searching for new grub. Yet we humans begin to assume that just because we have cheese today, it is now our government or employers job to ensure that we get our due of cheese without fail, month after month.

This assumption, this complacency, this comfort is the problem we are facing today. Cheaper countries, cheaper workforce in other countries, and increasing automation of jobs are changing the landscape.

It is time to realize it, and become awake now, before it is too late.

Only You Are Responsible For Your Future

You have the right to live honorably the life you want to live. But no one else has the onus of guaranteeing it to you. Not now. Not ever.

So how do you prepare, and what should you do?

Take Stock. Take a hard look at your knowledge, skills, tool, techniques, reserves, assets and liabilities.

It may begin to look scary. It is scary.

So how do you overcome this fear?

You don’t. Fear is going to be there. Forever. But you have survival instinct built into you. Every creature God created has it. It will help you to survive, and thrive. Provided you activate it.

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone

The way forward is to move out of your comfort zone. Do something new each day. Try new things. Find out about something each day. Try new things. Try different things. Try difficult things. To be frank, everything is difficult in the beginning. Even taking your first steps as a kid were. Learning to ride a bicycle was scary. But you did it anyway. You tried, and tried until you succeeded. After all, you are a survivor. So why worry. Chart a new path!

Try something uncomfortable. Once you learn it, you will not fear it. The more you do it, the more fearless you get. And slowly you increase your appetite to take risk, and to fail. After all, learning and experience only come if you try something. And it does not matter if you fail. For this gives you new knowledge about what works, and what does not.

This spirit of trying something new, experimenting, and learning from it will expand your horizons, build your resilience, and generate new confidence in you. You’ll be ready to find new cheese in case your cheese is moved, and who knows, you may be able to grow your own cheese!

Today there are hundreds of universities & websites offering free or near free courses on the internet. You can choose to learn about any subject, almost at a no cost. All you need is an internet connection. They work on all devices – phone, computers, and tablets. Whether you want to learn French or Chinese, cook Italian or Indian food, write programs in Java or Python, Improve Writing skills or Build your Own Stuff, everything is available.

Don’t just be a couch potato, consuming Netflix or TV all day. Invest 30 minutes in learning something new today. Even if you’re not sure what you want to study… Just try something, and see if you like it. Even if you don’t like it, at least you learned that you don’t like it. Tomorrow you can try something else. Pretty soon you would have homed into what you love.

And then there’s no stopping. You can get hooked to learn, to try and to succeed. After all, every bit of success, every effort you make gives you an adrenaline boost to push forward, to go further, and to surpass yourself.

Experiment. Learn. Teach. Innovate. Enjoy. Contribute. Share. Succeed. Be Ready. Be Invincible!

Vinai Prakash