Saturday, January 18, 2014

Coming out of comfort zone

Here is an interesting story from an unknown author that explains a lot
“A beggar asked Ibrahim ibn Al Adham for charity. Ibrahim told him: "I'll give you better than that; come with me." Ibrahim accompanied the beggar to a merchant, and asked him to find a job for the beggar. As Ibrahim was well trusted, the merchant didn't hesitate to give some merchandise to the beggar and asked him to travel and sell them in another city.
A few days later, Ibrahim found the beggar still in a miserable condition; surprised, he asked him about the matter. The beggar informed him: "While traveling, I found a blind eagle in the desert, and I was very curious how it got food though it was blind; I observed it for some time and, at my big surprise, another eagle came with and fed it. Thus, I said to myself: it's WHO took care of that blind eagle in this desert the same WHO will also take care of me! I returned to the city and gave the merchant back his goods."
Ibrahim, after reflection, asked him: "But tell me, why you chose to be the blind eagle, not the other one, who could fly, chase, and take care of others?"
We often come across with many young people who have big dreams of making a big career, changing the way society behaves, the unsatisfactory political system or some such lofty ideals. They initially get some small job, get married, have family and find things are hard to change. They fall into the routine of life and become creatures of habit. They give up on their dreams by finding some lame excuses or taking it out on their family members. But they are at ease with the status quo and do little to change their lives. The comfort of the status quo seems soothing to them like the beggar in the story.
There are many reasons for not going after greener pastures or charting new territories. The fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, the reluctance to take even reasonable risks, the comfort of the present with the predictable routine, the safety and warmth of known friends and the location, the family commitments, discouraging advice against change by well-wishers(?)and/or finally a sense of contentment. The problem with status quo is that it is familiar, it is normal, does not rock the boat and gives a false sense of complacency. It is like horses with blinkers pulling the cart daily on the beaten track. I have known many join a company in a small job and retire after three decades or so with no big achievement. “If you keep on doing what you've always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always gotten.”(W.L.Bateman). If one is satisfied with such an outcome, it is ok.
The difficulty is for people who wish to break the tight shackle of status quo, those who are not happy with the present lot and those in whom the dreams are still alive. It is those, who feel like square pegs in round holes, who are unhappy with the present situations and who are willing to take reasonable risks, who eventually make the grade. They get out of the comfort zone forcibly, push their limits to challenging levels and associate with like minded people. It calls for grit and hard work but is worth the effort. All achievers in any field  fall in this category



  1. Hmm..this is what I am afraid of...Sticking to that status quo because the society feels I should follow the routine that they do!

  2. true for majority..its very difficult to come out of our comfort zone, now even i have become like that..not doing anything to change the status quo..

  3. I remember a similar story, where even when people go out of the way to help people to get some decent job, or help them get well if they are sick, the reaction is never positive, they are neither grateful nor do they try to improve their lives. In Reiki we were taught that it is not our job to set people right, for it is themselves who have to want to change themselves. When we think we are helping, we only end up finding the person being in the same mindset, for to them it is easier being a beggar, because if they leave the familiar, they would have to work, they don't want to take any responsibilities in life.

  4. Excellent piece. Looking forward to more interesting posts from you.

  5. Thought provoking! To come out of the comfort zone many lack the courage and the zeal. But there are some who would like to break through but are restrained given the circumstances they are in - helpless i would say. But in today's world even sustenance is an achievement!