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Listening To The Words That Young Voices Speak

Listening To The Words That Young Voices Speak

I was out back in the yard pushing my son on the swing after playing an exhausting game of tag, and I started thinking about the words “less” and “full.” It dawned on me that for many years, those two words governed the way that I had lived my life. I was consumed with the desire and drive for more but unwilling to exchange anything in return. Sadly, it is also the way most folks live their lives today — being full of unimportant personal clutter rather than having less of it.

The spiritual empty

I had taken for granted all the richness in my life by having a narrow focus of what was important. I call it “the spiritual empty.” It is when you know you should be doing something differently but you’re either not sure how, you’re afraid, or you just don’t want to. I had become consumed with the corporate demands of schedules, meetings, running an operation. Deadlines. Money was my focus, and the result was a disregard for family.

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While I was leaving for work one morning, my son asked, “Dad, why do you work all the time? You’re never here.” I was floored. The drive in was the longest half hour of my life. I decided to make a change. I decided to give more and take less.

How could I help this tender 6 year old reach his potential and assist him with enriching his life? I had ideas, yes, but they all scared the hell out of me. I thought, “What am I going to do?”

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Today, in my young son’s eyes, I am the best at being a dad. I play with him, encourage him, teach him. I set the best examples that I know how for him in the situations that we encounter.

The first step

Remember the two words I mentioned at the beginning? What started out slowly and somewhat inconsistently, but has now gained valuable relevance in my life, is when I chose to add the word “thought” in front of both. This simple step could possibly work for you too.

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One brick at a time

I started small, but I realized that being finished with something wasn’t necessarily the end of it. Here’s what I mean.

The majority of our lives are made up of compartments. The trick is to combine them. To gain a rhythm. Leaving your job as I did disrupted that rhythm. I don’t recommend this approach — it is not for everyone. The joy that I have found in doing so, however, is worth more to me than a high salary. Take it slow.

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Maturing into unselfish behavior using this method has been a springboard into becoming more attentive, patient, and, to my surprise, significantly more helpful. The smile in the eyes of my child tells me all that I need to know. The words that are uttered by a little one, however softly, can add a quality to your life that was unthinkable before. Who are the “matter” people in your life? May I suggest gaining the approval of them first by listening, then make your move.

As you are reading this, check those two words. If you’re good, that’s great! If you’re not, then maybe try adding a third like I did.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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andre lewis

Former Inside Operations Supervisor UPS

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Last Updated on May 17, 2019

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

What Is the Comfort Zone?

The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. You will be scared

Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

That’s what separates winners from losers.

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2. You will fail

Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

3. You will learn

Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

4. You will see yourself in a different way

Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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5. Your peers will see you in a different way

Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

6. Your comfort zone will expand

The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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7. You will increase your concentration and focus

When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

8. You will develop new skills

Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

9. You will achieve more than before

With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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