Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone Daily
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
The Master would laugh at his disciples who deliberated endlessly before making up their minds.
As he put it: “People who deliberate why before they take a step will spend their lives on one leg.”
Anthony de Mello’s tale underscores that direct action is more important than pondering on thoughts.
The mind must be stretched by new experiences otherwise it grows stale and listless.
Most people live dreary lives doing the same repetitive tasks, day in day out wondering why the magic and spontaneity has vanished.
They become habituated to this way of life without the freedom to explore their inner genius.
Authors Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske explain in The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success: “Some brains are more proactive than others. One of the best ways to take your use of memory to a higher level is by exposing it to as many new experiences as possible.”
It’s often stated that we must step out of our comfort zone to arouse our potential. Yet, it is near-impossible when you are caught up in tasks that subdue your creativity.
Reflect on the last time you tried a new experience?
Do you eat at the same restaurant because they serve your favourite food or perhaps you cook the same meals throughout the week?
Maybe you take the same route to work regularly or watch the same TV shows?
How about the endless chores that draw the life out of a person?
These are stalemates towards progress and innovation. Whilst they’re part of everyday living, you can learn to manage them better and avoid being trapped in the throes of survival living.
Steven Pressfield said in Do The Work, it wasn’t until he was thirty years old he’d entertained an original thought. Every thought before that was a regurgitation of the previous day’s thoughts.
It was the American management consultant Peter Drucker who said: “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”
How then can you incorporate new experiences into your life?
Start with the smallest change and integrate something beyond the familiar.
You needn’t book an overseas trip to an exotic location or add a magical adventure to your bucket list. Start closer to home and occasionally take a different route to work.
Consider using your non-dominant hand for everyday tasks. Read new book genres or approach complete strangers with a view of starting a conversation. Yes, I know that means directing your attention away from your mobile device. I assure you, you’ll be fine.
These are examples of instances where novelty offers a great breakthrough to enrich your life’s experience.
It isn’t the action that’s of great importance but the uniqueness of it that has a powerful effect on your mind.
Expose Yourself To New Experiences
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra
We become familiar to the routines of everyday life and miss out on what is going on around us. To compound this, every person is tethered to their mobile device wearing it like a safety blanket.
Inspiration is closer to home than you think.
It was the late Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People who wrote: “We become what we repeatedly do.”
To stretch your mind, be open to new experiences beyond your daily habits and take notice of life with determined enthusiasm.
If you want to improve your conditions, you can’t keep doing the same things hoping to achieve different results. I’m not stating something new, but reiterating countless pieces of advice echoed in text books.
New experiences include: travel, a change in a career, learning a new language, undertaking a personal or professional development course, expanding your circle of friends, trying new restaurants and many others.
When you update the software program (mind), the body (hardware) reflects this to correspond with the change.
I often repeat this quote in earlier articles by the late Dr Candace Pert: “Your body is your subconscious mind.”
Dr Pert showed through scientific experimentation in her Ph.D. research that our emotions are a biochemical phenomenon expressed through the body as physical sensations.
If you have any doubts on this, consider when someone who hasn’t driven your car before overturns the ignition so it squeals on the first start. In contrast, you have learnt the precise turn of the key for the engine to start every time.
Dr Pert’s research showed when the hierarchal system of the brain learns a task, it subordinates control to the body where the memory is stored. Therefore, turning the ignition becomes an involuntary action instead of a conscious one.
This is apparent in highly tuned sports athletes and musicians where the individual has spent thousands of hours in deliberate practice fine tuning their motor skills.
Apply this principle to your life since the mind influences the body and conversely. By repeatedly exposing yourself to new experiences, you develop a new mental landscape for it to thrive.
Brendon Burchard writes in The Motivation Manifesto: “A hallmark of those who achieve greatness is the discovery that they can control the level of motivation they feel by better directing their own minds.”
Observe Your Problems In New Ways
“If you really want to do something you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse.” — Jim Rohn
Instead of making excuses for the way life is, mould it into something you can become proud of.
You have access to greatness because your mind is made of the same substance that drove the inventions of: Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein.
They learned to harness their mind power while simultaneously being gifted with the right mental faculty.
Let’s be realistic, I’m not suggesting you become a world renowned genius overnight, yet you have the same hardware capable of producing greatness if developed correctly.
“Greatness belongs to those who have mastered their internal world. We are all plagued by doubt, but the great nevertheless find faith and begin. We all feel like delaying action, but the great march on,” explains Brendon Burchard once more.
Excuses keep you trapped in your conditions. I’m certain part of you believes in a better future; a better way of life. You needn’t know how you future will unfold. Make a declaration to move towards greatness and leave your excuses behind like the childhood toys you’ve outgrown and no longer serve a place in your life.
Excuses should not limit your potential, but show you the burning light of possibility that has been there all along.
Author Sean Patrick highlights this idea in Awakening Your Inner Genius: “The seed of greatness exists in every human being. Whether it sprouts or not is our choice. Second, that there are no such things as natural-born under- or overachievers — there are simply people who tap into their true potentials and people who don’t. What is generally recognized as “great talent” is, in almost all cases, nothing more than the outward manifestations of an unwavering dedication to a process.”
Perhaps your greatness has been dormant all these years, or needs to be roused. I assure you the moment you walk fearlessly towards greatness, it will run towards you with raging enthusiasm and show you the way.
It will show you infinite possibilities to explore your potential in ways you never thought possible.
First, you must stretch your mind and nurture it with the seeds of greatness, whether in the form of thoughts, actions or new experiences.
Rise above your daily habits and develop ones that build and strengthen character. Observe your problems in new ways and turn them into opportunities, not something to lament.
Awaken the giant within as Tony Robbins says because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, greatness lives within you. It must, because you are born in the likeness of an expansive universe that knows nothing of crafting only the finest.
It was the acclaimed American screenwriter of The Godfather Mario Puzo who once said: “Great men are not born great, they grow great…”
What are you waiting for?
For the pain to hit home you’re not living your best self?
No one will give you permission other than yourself. So step into your greatness. Claim it in the same way you claim the adjacent lane when driving on the freeway; commit and move into it boldly.
For the Master knew we mustn’t deliberate long on taking action, but allow the seeds of our actions to show us the way.