Humans are creatures of habit. In our own way, most of us like routine. We create our own comfort zones that we each live in, day in and day out, until the day that we die. A place where it is safe, an anchor in the harbor of the shore of our minds. It’s our own place that we can come running back to if the water gets too rough, where we can sit and calmly readjust our life until we are comfortable again. It brings us peace and stability and protects us from the fear of the unknown. It could be your house, your dog, a place at the park, your parents, your work or even your favorite food. It is all the things you know like the back of your hand and would not trade for anything.
Your comfort zone.
A comfort zone is great thing. Everyone has one, and there is not a thing wrong with it — that is until you become so deeply imbedded in your comfort zone that you forget that there is a great big wide world outside of it.
It starts subtly. You fall into a regular morning routine. You wake up every morning, check your phone before you get out of bed, walk your dog, jump in the shower and go to class.
Next you get into your weekly routine. You start your day off the same way every day, then you go about doing the things you have to: writing that paper, taking that test, giving that presentation. You take care of things and get the job done. You come home in the evening, eat dinner, watch Netflix, pat your puppy on the head, plug in your phone, hit the lights and drift off to sleep. Then before you realize it, you are starting and ending your days in the same way every day.
Weeks turn into months and, before you know it, Christmas is here — oh wait now it is summer and what happened to Easter? You have done the same thing every day for the last 12 months, and then you started doing it all over again.
Now we are not robots. We have variety and change. You had a birthday this year, right? You grew an entire year older. That is new. You bought a new type of cereal at Walmart. You were feeling wild one night, so you ordered a new drink from Sonic, the one with the Nerds in it. It was gross.
Now look at what you did over the past year again and ask yourself if you are proud of what you accomplished.
If yes, then wow. You are awesome, and you can stop reading this now because Cinnamon Frosted Flakes are great, and you do not need anyone to tell you differently.
If your answer is no, then congratulations. Welcome to the party. Here is a cool fact: most people in the world are like this because we as humans are unhappy with the choices we make in our lives, but we are living in the fear of being outside of our comfort zones.
We love routine, but we hate the outcome of our lives when we look back at it. Ironic, isn’t it?
Getting outside of your comfort zone does so much more for you than branching out of your taste in cereal. It sets your heart on fire. To quote Aladdin, it opens your eyes to a “whole new world you never knew.” If Jasmine had never taken the leap of faith to trust Prince Ali to go flying on a magic carpet, we would never have had the great movie and adorable romance that we have today.
It is terrifying. That’s just the simple fact of it, but it is worth it. It challenges you and pushes you to your limits that you didn’t even know you had. It gives you life experiences and stories to tell your grandkids about. It gives you the world in the most beautiful way.
Sometimes we forget that the world is bigger than just what we see in our safe little comfort zones. Our world is about us, but the rest of the world is about everyone else. Soak that in for a minute. If we never step outside of our perfectly taped off zones, what is our life about?
We were created to be bold. Humans are the top of the food chain. We must take chances and be OK with not knowing the outcome. We were made to experience things both good and bad. We must challenge ourselves and each other or else we will grow stale.
Now do not get me wrong here — I’m not saying you should start off taking a leap of faith and jump off the Grand Canyon. Going outside your comfort zone is hard. It’s going to take time. Start small like jumping into a puddle and work your way up to tight roping across Niagara Falls. If it scares you because it is new, you are headed in the right direction.
We should be fearless in our pursuit of life and different flavor Sonic drinks.