The comfort of feeling uncomfortable

Ok, I have a confession to make. My natural default position is bone idle, lazy to the max. I love sitting in the garden doing absolutely nothing but letting thoughts wander in and out of my mind, as and when they feel like it. A cool cocktail and warm sun working their magic. At the end of the day I have nothing to show as outcomes, other than a more relaxed persona and a little reddening where the lotion was not applied with sufficient care.

Recently though, I had the opportunity of working with two people, completely different personalities, experience, ages, skill sets etc, but both of whom challenged my thinking, taking me outside my natural comfort zone. Maia, a young up and coming design consultant and David a successful entrepreneur and coach ended up asking me the same questions.

What’s your passion?

What do you want to achieve?

What are your goals?

What is your obsession statement?

How do you measure progress towards these?

They were uncomfortable questions because it made me realise just how easy it is to slip into the mire of complacency. The “Done that, read the book,” response. Yes I’ve got a mission statement, of course I have aims and values, but why? Ultimately what’s the point?

As Maia continued to question, I took the time to reflect and from the position of feeling uncomfortable, came greater clarity, which in turn led to a greater sense of renewed comfort and motivation. Perhaps this is the zone of personal growth that we seek. The recognition and fulfilment that comes from feeling that your work adds real value. A value that goes beyond monetary, but instead into making a difference. A difference no matter how small, but one that contributes into making the world a better place. For Maia in her design consultancy role, it is about reuse and recycle, have the chair re-upholstered rather than send it to landfill. For me, it is inspiring others to make a difference. If, through my work in supporting schools, or curriculum design, or developing leadership, I can make the smallest contribution to making the world a better place, (even if it is just one pupil at a time), then I will feel I’ve added value and that ultimately gives me comfort.

So, as we start to return to some normality in our schools, take the time to pause and take yourself outside your comfort zone. What drives you? What is your obsession statement? How well are you doing? What needs to be done because it is the right thing to do?

Unleash your passion. Then get that cold cocktail, apply the lotion and head for that garden day bed.

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