Is there anything more  comfortable” than being a baby! Let’s see a simplified scenario of what’s going on in an infant’s life. Let’s call the baby Little Nick:
(Little Nick’s Thought): I am hungry, I am hurt, I want attention, I want something else.
(Little Nick’s Action): Crying.
(Guardian’s Reaction): He/she tries to embrace him, feed him, do everything he/she can stop him from crying. 
Little Nick you live the good life! 
Easy, simple, comfortable. This is the comfort zone” of Little Nick. He can stay there forever. Yes, of course, his body will grow. Yes, logically, Little George, Little Vicky, Little Jim and the other babies will start walking, talking, living their lives differently. But why would that matter? Since everything comes easy for him inside his comfort zone. There is no pain here. Indeed one day he tried to stand on his feet but finally, he fell down and hurt himself.
 
“Why bother? It is safe, comfortable and nice here. I know what to expect. , Little Nick thinks.
Now think that you are actually Little Nick. You live your day to day life in a way that makes you feel somewhat comfortable. More or less you know what to expect. You have your daily habits and your routine. You feel you know who you are. Thinking the possibility of a change scares you. The thought of some extra effort leaves you tired. Just as Little Nick feels.
As long as you stay in your comfort zone, in the safety of your guardians”, you will never walk or talk. You will never make your first small steps. You will not fall. You will not get injured. You will not be afraid. You will not get back up. You will not feel that you finally made it. You will not run. You will not tell yours what you feel, what you think, what you want. Your life will be so predictable that you will eventually lose the ability to dream.
And your body will grow, and everyone around you will grow. Unfortunately, at some point, the security you take for granted will be gone. Do you still think it is actually safe inside your comfort zone? Is it reasonable to stay there?

"Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone."

Neale Donald Walsh

What Keeps You Inside Your Comfort Zone?

Why choose to restrict yourself? As a baby, you choose to make a step outside your comfort zone. But when does that change? When does Little Nick stop trying things out of his zone and chooses to stay within its limits? I do not know the answer to this. What I know is that it’s in his power to make the first little step outside of it again!
Ask yourself the following:
  1. Do you need to stay in your comfort zone?
  2. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you make that step outside of it?
When you think about the answers to these questions, think about the following reasons why Little Nick gets outside :
  1. Only outside he develops himself. John C Maxwell said it best If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”. Just like an infant, so must we continue to grow.
  2. Its limits extend to every step that we make outside of it. As a result, things and situations that seem impossible to happen eventually happen, and then we can make new dreams, that we did not even know existed before.
  3. Eventually, this zone is not as comfortable” as it seems. It hinders many hazards that when they will finally appear, they will cause many problems.
The last question I would like you to ask yourself is the following:
  • How can you take the step outside the zone if you want to?
Little Nick reveals his secrets:
  1. Realize that you are responsible for your life. You can follow the advice” of the whole world, but in the end, this is YOUR life. So take a breath, embrace the fear of this awareness and take the first step of the many that will come!
  2. Stop worrying about things that have not happened. As I mention in the article “Why my new year’s resolution for 2018 is smiling for 365 days” we are worried about things before they even happen. At the end nothing than we imagined ever happens. We have the illusion that we have the control. The truth is that usually what happens to us ( negative or positive) is something we cannot guess before it actually happens. And while we’ve experienced this many times in the past, we keep forgetting it. It is natural, but it is also up to us to control this concern a little more.
  3. Over-analysis leads to paralysis. You will never have all the data that will guarantee you a future result. The only guarantee is that if you do not try something, you will never succeed it. 

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

See Where That First Step Outside My Comfort Zone Led Me.

A series of events along with the above quote pushed me out of my own comfort zone. In order not to feel lost out there” I have my erratic compass that I have been following since. This compass led me to places I always dreamed of going but I was always very good at finding a but” to stop me.
By eliminating the but” from my map in the last year:
  • I spent three months backpacking in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay.
  • I met Little Nicks” from all over the world who followed their own compass.
  • I went hiking at Tierra Del Fuego.
  • I caught a salmon in Patagonia.
  • I climbed to the top of the active Villarrica volcano and while wearing a mask for the fumes, I saw the lava flowing.
  • I made a free fall next to this volcano. Yes, the view was amazingly beautiful!
  • I climbed at the top of Huayna Potosi in Bolivia, and I looked the world from 6,088 meters high. By far the most extreme thing in terms of physical effort I have tried!
  • I walked in the Amazon and slept in the wild with nothing but a single mosquito cover.
  • I cycled the Death Road near Bolivia’s La Paz.
  • I walked in a desert of sand, and in a desert of salt.

The Red Lake Of Emotions.

Finally, I visited Laguna Colorada in Bolivia. The moment I looked at it, my thoughts traveled through my entire course the recent years. On my good and difficult times. Then I turned and told my Italian friend and travel companion that I will cry”. I experienced a unique feeling of happiness. So, through tears of joy and a huge lasting smile that brought my other traveling companion from Norway in a not-so-comfortable-place (yes, it was as funny as it sounds), I decided to chase my passion. This decision has now evolved into Erratic Compass, an attempt to make us all get more enjoyment out of our everyday life, keep getting to know ourselves, keep learning how to live and, why not, feel like I felt in this red lake.

Start By Doing Something Small.

I do not believe that in order for anyone to live, he/she has to leave his/her job and his/her life in general and go a long journey.  We can climb a mountain, meet new people, try different things, right here, leaving nothing behind. Small steps will lead to your personal improvement. A jump will lead to panic. We do not want panic. The small steps outside the comfort zone will lead to some bigger ones. It’s addictive to see yourself growing, changing, learning!
You can simply:
  • Turn off your cell phone during a dinner.
  • Go for a morning walk before work.
  • Start a healthier diet. 
  • Take the stairs when you have the chance.
  • Find a recipe that you have not tried again and try it out. If you are not cooking even better!
  • If you are in Athens, find out what’s going on with the Erratics, and try an activity without saying but”.
The next time you have the choice to sit home to watch a series on TV or go to a woodcarving seminar, choose the seminar! You may not be artistic, you may be clumsy with your hands, you may not have someone to go with. But if you had all these, what would be the point? 🙂
Fortunately, babies do not stay in their comfort zone. Learn from them!

Are you in Athens? Let your Erratic Compass guide you!

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