One thing the Covid pandemic has taught the world is that change comes, adversity comes and many of the times there isn’t much we can do about it; we only have control of how we respond to what we are faced with. It is not always easy to respond to changes and adversity in our lives.
We miss opportunities a lot of times in our lives because they do not come wrapped up in the glamorous package we envisaged or fantasised about. We usually grow up believing that life opportunities will come clear cut and just at the ‘right’ time in exactly the order and presentation we prefer.
A good example is an upcoming entrepreneur looking for business space to occupy or buy in a good area in the city. Most ideal areas closer to or within central business districts (CBDs) are usually fully occupied, and expansion is in further areas in the outskirts of the city. He finds a property within the CBD but it needs renovation that will take at least a month and time spent supervising.
The business man decides to let go of the property and ends up spending another two months looking for space only to find it 20 kilometres away from his most important clients. By that time, another business has seized the other property, put in work and time and has it looking as good as new within three weeks and has his key clients five minutes away.
We miss opportunity because we do not want to be open minded, we do not want to put in work and sometimes we are simply proud and do not want to be seen starting from the bottom nor starting with something that is less than the mythical ‘perfect’.
A comfort zone is that zone nobody actually grows in. It is predictable and soft and easy but nothing important gets done there, no breakthroughs, no innovation, no hard work; nothing. Many success stories of notable people around the world and many success stories of the people around us involve a series of events and unleashed unprecedented adversities in their lives that led to their greatest breakthroughs.
A comfort zone can be anything from the city you live in, a relationship, a status quo, friends, lifestyle, the car we drive, the way we spend our free time, the activities we indulge in, the way we do our jobs, the way we react to situations in our life, and so on. It can be anything we have become so accustomed to that we, if asked in our sleep why we do it that way, wouldn’t have an explanation for it except it is what we are so used to that we do it subconsciously without meaning, without effort, without depth and without growth.
The idea of having the best of both worlds usually leads many people to stagnate in life because they do not recognise that you need to give up something to go up. One cannot live college life while in the working world, one cannot live the single life while committed, one cannot live the extravagant life while trying to make investments for the future etc. We have one leg in and one leg out and we usually think this is more productive, fun, enriching and will bring more happiness but usually it just leads to frustration, drama, failure and wastage of time.
You cannot serve two masters at once; you cannot nurture the child in you while trying to grow as a mature man or woman, you cannot be trusted with big responsibilities while focused on trivial matters and you cannot enrich a process on one side of the fence when the mind is still holding on to what is present on the other side of the fence.
There are people I have seen thriving and innovating during this pandemic and other mini pandemics in their unique lives; and there are others who have spent more time trying to fit things in their ideal box and ending up frustrated, and wasting time. The later failed to see opportunity when it came dressed like overalls.
Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine – Friedrich Schiller
I rest my case.