The other day I was on a bike tour with a friend. We had great conversations. My friend reminded me of an important truth: Our comfort zone seems like a safe place, but it is a dangerous place.
Being comfortable is dangerous
As we are feeling comfortable, we have the illusion that everything is going well. What really happens is that as we are not challenged anymore, we don’t grow. Life becomes boring and we become dull.
We are not built for comfort. We are built for courage. We feel the most alive when we are brave. When we hold the discomfort, we grow and blossom.
Decide – manage your decision – get your reward
Our bike trip taught me that the decision comes first. I made the decision to complete our tour no matter what. The importance of pre-decisions became obvious to me when we were riding up a few steep hills.
As we started approached one particular challenging hill, I locked in my decision that I would not get off the bike and walk, but ride up the entire hill until I reached the summit. I committed even though I couldn’t see yet, how long the hill was.
I knew it was just a matter of choosing the right gear and pace, but that inevitably thoughts of quitting will come. And they came.
But I stayed with my decision. This builds determination. I felt incredibly proud once I reached the summit and took a break. The view up there was enjoyable and the food tasty. Not because it had such inherent value, but because I had fought for it. Paying a price made it valuable. It would not have been the same experience without the effort.
Everything worthwhile is uphill
It is not just for that bike trip. It is the same for all of life. When we want to get to a summit in our life, we need the consistent effort. So lock in your decision. Celebrate. Dance. And move on.
Everyday we choose: Courage or Comfort?
When we choose comfort we quickly give up. When times get tough, we don’t stick to our goals. What life really is asking you when it is getting difficult is how dedicated you are. The time when it is the toughest to keep your commitment is the time when you need to stick with your commitment the most. Remind yourself why you set out to achieve the goal. If you pass this trial again and again, you will make it up the hill. Then it is only a question of choosing the right gear and pacing.
What do you choose?
The decision is completely yours: Are you settling for comfort? Or are you striving for courage?
For me the decision is clear: I ain’t settling. Here is a great song: I ain’t settling.
As a bonus, here is one more great quote to take with you when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will:
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
- Carl Gustav Jung
When it comes to living courageously, what is the number one thing holding you back? Let me know in the comments.