Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Discomfort

Growth, personal growth, is a function of learning.  Learning is a layered, interwoven mish-mash of experiences, reflection, acquisition, thought, and experimentation.

We can remain comfortable by doing the following:

  • Play the same scales in the same key on the same kind of instrument, over and over again.
  • Read the same books, by the same authors, in the same genre, over and over again.
  • Interface with the same people, in the same professions, about the same topics, over and over again.
  • Go about our work using the same methods, in the same chronology, desiring the same outcomes, over and over again.
  • Planting the same seeds, in the same seed bed, using the same nutrients, over and over again.
  • Engaging in the same hobby, day after day, over and over again.
  • Doing the same exercises, with the same intensity, in the same way, over and over again.
You get the idea.  

Growth, real growth, occurs when we push ourselves beyond the comfort zone.  Almost always, engaging with other people is the catalyst for real growth.

And what causes the discomfort in the growing process?  Fear of failure.  The angst of not already knowing the process or the outcome.  The prospect of looking or feeling foolish.  The likelihood of feeling strain, either cognitively, physically, or emotionally.  The apprehension of an unpredictable schedule.  The unease associated with talking to and learning from strangers (or at least, new acquaintances).  

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"  
Only when you purposefully plant a little discomfort in the very first row.  

Ready to grow?  Come on in; the water's fine!  (Just not comfortable.) 

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