Hello my friend,
How much weight can you lift? For most people, it’s a relatively unimportant question. Nevertheless, imagine that you really wanted to know. How could you determine precisely how much weight you are able to lift?
There are only two ways that I know of to answer this question accurately. The first is to start with a relatively light weight and then add to it until you can no longer lift it. The second is to start with a weight that is very heavy and then remove weight until you can lift it. Either way, you will find your limit through experimentation.
This is also true, in my experience, of most aspects of our lives. You don’t know your limits until you reach them! It is when we reach our limits that we learn about ourselves, that we challenge ourselves, that we are really able to experience growth.
Reflect back on the times in your life when things were easy, effortless, like lifting a coffee mug ( guess what I just lifted?). These are times when we are susceptible to complacency, to stagnation. Now, I’ve got nothing against good times and “when a plan comes together”. It’s simply that we should be real about where/when the growth happens.
If you were forced to choose between living in the comfort zone, living outside of it, or living on the edge… where would you live? It’s a personal question, with no absolute right or wrong answer. For my money, build me a house right on the edge, in fact just a little over the edge. 🙂
So what do we do with this understanding that challenging times facilitate our growth? We can just allow life to unfold as it will, remaining receptive to challenges and welcoming them as an opportunity for growth. In fact, this is a healthy attitude. Here’s another approach: seek out opportunities to get out of your comfort zone! Actively look for and take advantage of them whenever you can.
Over Memorial Day weekend, I had just one such opportunity with my sons, David and Brian. We participated in a friend’s adrenaline-filled retreat in the hills of Tennessee (USA). Now I’ve been on retreats. This was no retreat. In fact, it was the opposite of retreat. It was an attack weekend! We went fast on the ground, we went fast in the water, we went fast in the air, we climbed trees, jumped off trees, and generally scared ourselves silly over and over again. Too cool for words!
Even better though, we spent just as much time reflecting on some of life’s most important questions. These are questions that I have reflected upon before, even shared in this blog. The amazing thing is, your answers change when your pulse was just recently 140 BPM and you were shooting paintballs out of the helicopter with no doors (really). While I don’t know if your answers would be different, I do know that mine were different. They were more real, less filtered, more authentic and genuine, way more helpful. And that my friends is the very point of this post.
Get yourself out of your comfort zone, however you can, then quickly look back on your life and assess it. Who are you? What are you here for? What is most important to you? What do you claim to be your values? Does the way you conduct yourself reveal what you say your answers are? No BS! For real.
If you are not walking your talk, you have three choices: 1) change your walk, 2) change your talk, or 3) remain a hypocrite. Does that sting? Yep, it stung me too. Follow that sting to the source. Then eliminate it.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
By the way, I don’t charge extra for typos. They are my gift to you.