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Expand Your Comfort Zone II

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM

"We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present." Thomas Edison


We have spoken previously on the importance of stepping out of our comfort zone in order to expand our lives and grow as a person. It is completely natural for most of us to want to stay within our familiar surroundings and have that comfort of knowing what to expect on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, our lives will never change and we will never grow or move forward if we continue to repeat the same activities. It is only when we push the limits of that which we are familiar and comfortable with that we can learn and create new experiences.

Usually I like to keep these writings in a passive perspective but I want to share a personal experience that is relative to the topic at hand. A few years ago I began racing motocross with my daughters after they posed an interest in the sport. The experience has been fantastic as we get to spend quality time together as a family. I do have to say however that at times I am way out of my comfort zone on the track and this past weekend was quite the experience. We joined some friends we had met through racing at a National level track with a race series that I was unfamiliar with. I am usually comfortable on the local tracks racing with people I have come to know through racing but this was just a bit different. The track was more challenging and the pace of the competition was a bit faster and aggressive than what I am accustomed to. To say my heart rate was accelerated before the start would be an understatement. Right there on the starting gate I began to think of some of the my previous writings about expanding your comfort zone and stepping beyond what is familiar and just the realization of those thoughts turned my hesitation into a calming excitement. With each race I became more comfortable and by the end of the day this was just another track with another group of racers who were as anxious as I was when the day began. Driving home at the end of the weekend I realized that this was a perfect example of the writings I have been working on about expanding that with which you are comfortable with in order to grow as a person.

What was once an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation now becomes part of the norm. From there you can move forward to new experiences and your level of comfort will expand. With each and every experience you grow as a person and the tools you have at your disposal also grow. With these tools and new level of comfort you can continue to move forward and have new experiences that you would have previously never thought possible.

 

Make a Choice

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Who you are today is a product of your experiences. It is these experiences that have brought you to this point in your life and will influence your decisions going forward. Take a moment to reflect on those events which have shaped who you are today and have brought you to the present time and place. Each and every decision you have made in your past has somehow had an effect on who and where you are today. There are sure to be things that you would have done differently but you cannot change those decisions. In reflecting upon your past you can appreciate and learn from those events in hopes of making better decisions in your future.

Each and every experience builds upon one another and as we grow and expand our knowledge, our foundation also expands and allows us to grow exponentially. The problems or situations that once may have seemed insurmountable should not appear to be so overwhelming now. The more we push the envelope and make those difficult decisions the more we become comfortable with adjusting to unexpected outcomes. Not every decision is going to be correct but we cannot know for sure unless a decision is made. It is a fact the too many "million dollar" ideas are taken to the grave because the individual failed to have the courage to take action and make a decision. Nobody likes to fail but it is these failures that we learn from. The legendary golfer Bobby Jones is often quoted as saying "One learns from defeat, not victory." If every decision ended in a victory there would be no challenge in pursuing the unknown. While it is true that we learn more from defeat, we can also learn from our victories. Each and every event whether it be a success or failure allows us to adapt and pursue new challenges from a new perspective.

Its is the mere act of making a decision that allows us to move forward. It may be a good decision or a bad one but it all starts with that one act. Often people hesitate and fail to get anywhere because they cannot or will not take that next step. We need to be aware of what is holding us back from making that decision. Is it fear of failure? Is it or fear of change or just plain laziness? Once we acknowledge what it is that is holding us back we can address the situation and work around that which is holding us back. There is a book by Mark Goulston called "Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior." In this book, Mark talks about conquering those traits which prevent us from growing and living more rewarding lives. We must learn to make a decision and move forward. We are not going to always make the right decision but we will never move forward and cannot expect different outcomes if we don't shake things up once in awhile.

 

Obstacles or Opportunities???

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

“The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you don’t change direction” – Anonymous

You know where you want to go and you have an idea of how you want to get there. That is the first step in your journey. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about business or life but the road to success is not straight and it definitely not smooth. If it was, everyone would be successful. Like a race car driver navigating a twisty section of the track you need to adjust along the way. The sooner you accept that these barriers exist and learn to alter your course, the sooner you will be beyond them and onto your next challenge.

It is these barriers and challenges that allow us to grow as a person or a business. With each difficulty or experience we grow and expand in what we are comfortable with. What previously seemed insurmountable now doesn’t seem so big. As we grow and experience new challenges we allow ourselves build upon the foundation upon which we began. That foundation becomes broader and can carry a heavier load. Throughout life each experience teaches us a lesson that we use going forward. That first step, that first day of school or first day on the job. Without these experiences we would never conquer our fears because we would never move forward or grow. These experiences exist in business as well. Whatever it is you consider yourself good at or whatever topics you consider yourself an expert on, you got there through the experiences and the lessons you encountered and learned previously.

To get back on track, we need to adjust our direction along the way. You can think of every obstacle as a challenge or you can think of every obstacle as an opportunity. With each new opportunity you have a chance to grow and expand your comfort zone. You can only expand your comfort zone by facing these obstacles and accepting the challenge to move forward. Yes you will make mistakes and even have some failures but if you don’t at least make an attempt to overcome the obstacles you will get nowhere. Michael Jordan is quoted as saying “The only reason he was successful was because he failed so many times.” Had he not made an attempt to overcome these obstacles and accept them as challenges he never would have been successful. Each failure is a learning experience and often a motivator to succeed and move closer toward your destination. In reflection, you will realize that these obstacles were opportunities to get you where you are today and set the tone for where you are going. You will get there if you learn to adjust your course.

 

Action, Taking Dreams to Realtiy

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM

The human mind is a powerful tool. We can have grandeur visions of success and envision our accomplishments even before taking our first action step toward our goals. In fact, this vision is a necessary step toward moving forward and achieving our goals. We realistically might not know exactly where we will end up but we do have a vision of where we want to be and a desire to get there. Knowing where we want to go or where we want to be allows us to conceive a plan of action of how we are going to get there. Without a plan of action or some sort of road map it is unlikely that our destination will be anywhere in the vicinity of our envisioned goal.

 

A vision without a plan is just a dream. Dreams are good and dreaming is an important part of the process of attaining of goals. When we dream we see ourselves moving forward and we unconsciously realize that we have a purpose and a destination in life. These dreams set the stage for us to mold and create our visions. These visions are based on our past experiences and our knowledge that we have acquired throughout our lives. From the day we are born we begin learning and experiencing new things and it is these experiences that make us who we are. They are like building blocks, setting up a foundation of who we become. Who we are as a person, based on those experiences, unconsciously sets the stage for who we want to become and where we want to go. You can think of our lives as a brick building. The foundation is set and every layer of brick that sits upon that foundation brings us to another level. The more we experience and the broader we reach, the bigger we can become. If our foundation is small or weak we cannot build a very big building on it but we can continue to expand our foundation and set the stage for something larger.

 

As one of the earliest authors of personal success, Napoleon Hill is quoted as saying ”What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. While this is true to a certain extent, it is ACTION that makes these visions possible. It is up to the dreamer and only the dreamer to take action. Nobody else is going to make your dreams happen. It is up to you to take the first step and get the ball rolling. We can dream and have the grandest of visions but until we create a plan of action and put those plans into motion they remain just that, Dreams.

 

-Mike Zschunke, Shift1 Solutions

 

Expanding Your Comfort Zone

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Everyday we hear about people wanting to make a change or wanting more out of life. Only that person can make that happen. From the moment we are born we are taught to follow the rules and taught how to “fit in”. As we grow up, we go to school, then graduate and get a job, maybe have a family and grow old reflecting on our accomplishments along the way. This is great and a definite necessity for a community to work together and progress but as an individual we need to step out of that comfort zone once in awhile and try new things. This can be as simple as putting the other shoe on first, eating something different or taking a different route to work. We require change to keep us motivated. Its what moves us and keeps us sharp. Everyday we learn something new and that experience expands our comfort zone and allows us to grow as a person.

 

It is human nature to dream and to want more out of life. We cannot help but compare ourselves to others but to be truly happy we need to look within ourselves and be happy with the person we see in the mirror. Whether or not we write down our goals there are things that we wish to accomplish. These accomplishments give us a sense of being and a sense of purpose. Without a purpose there is no fulfillment and time just passes by. We need to build on each accomplishment and expand our comfort zone. Is there something that used to scare you but no longer does? The unknown is scary. Until we experience an event or action for ourselves we will never know what it is truly like to feel that accomplishment. Once you experience that fear and the accomplishment of overcoming it, that event becomes part of your comfort zone. You may not be comfortable with it immediately and it may take doing that thing more than once or even many times but eventually it becomes part of you and you have grown as a person and can move on to the next challenge.

 

No one else can overcome this fear or expand our comfort zone for us. It is something that we have to do ourselves. Until we get up and do that thing which is out of our comfort zone. Yes it is easy to stay within what we know but to grow and move forward we need to push the envelope. Life is not about being in the end zone or at the top of the mountain, it is about the path that we took to get there. It is about the experiences we had along the way. The more we can push ourselves to expand our comfort zone the more we will experience. More experiences leads to more satisfaction, more sense of purpose and more feeling of accomplishment.

 

Take Action and Make The Shift

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 10:40 AM

You have the idea. You know the goal you want to achieve. You have even created a plan on how you are going to achieve that goal. What's next? Now is the time to take ACTION!!!! You can plan all you want and have the greatest ideas in the world but if you don't follow through they will go nowhere. It is up to you and only you to make them happen. They are your ideas and your goals.

 

Taking the first action step is often the most difficult. This is the time when you are most vulnerable. You can have all the faith in your vision and planning but it is with the first action step that you open yourself up to either success or failure. And that is ok. It's part of the process. How do you know if your idea and vision will be successful unless you put your plan into action. Too many ideas are lost out of fear of failure. Failure is nothing to be afraid of. It is a necessary step in the path to success. Michael Jordan says that the only reason he was successful was because of his failures. He did not let them stop him from achieving his goals. In fact he is often quoted as using his failures for motivation and pushing him further to achieve his goals. "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."

 

You have the tools necessary to move forward but you and only you can make it happen. Yes this can be extremely scary but you will never know unless you try. In your plan you should have that first action step highlighted. This is what is going to put your dreams and vision in motion. You've put in the work, you have prepared yourself, you have the tools, you know where you want to go but you have to take that first step in your journey to get there. This is where the Shift begins. You go from "I want to do this..." to "I am doing this." Of course your journey will have its ups and downs but it is these changes in direction that will allow you to build a stronger foundation to work upon.

 

Review your plan once more and follow though with that first step. Take Action!!! You will be surprised at how easy it was and you will look back and realize that there was nothing to fear. The momentum will build and each step will become easier and easier. As we said before you will hit some roadblocks along the way but your momentum and the knowledge you have gained along the way will carry you though. Its up to you to put the ball in motion and make that shift.

 

The Step Before the First Step

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Taking the first step to accomplish your goals is definitely the most difficult.  We begin with a thought or an idea of where we want to go or where we want to be. This can be true in business or in life.  It is human nature to have an image of an end result of our actions but we need to have a plan of action on how to achieve those results. You may know where you want to be but without a defined road map or plan of action you are likely to lose focus and stray from achieving those goals.  Your plan needs to specific and there needs to be some form of measurable accountability so that you can review your progress along the way.  The vision you originally set out to acheive will grow and change along your journey.  This is okay and encouraged because as you grow as a person or business your values and beliefs will also change. We like to refer to these changes as "Shift". Your primary goals still exist but you will need to make a "shift"  in the pathway and the steps you follow to achieve those goals. This "Shift" is part of the "Solution".  You will encounter many obstacles along the way and these obstacles are there to test your plan and procedures and strengthen the final product.  The vision you begin with is rarely what evolves but the foundation you build upon will remain constant if you stay focused and keep moving foward toward your final destination. The process is ever changing and the experience and knowledge you acquire along your journey will help you build that stronger foundation.  As your foundation builds you should begin to see the progression toward your goals even if those goals are slightly altered from your orginal vision.  You have a vision and you have a plan. You are now ready to take action and without even realizing, you have already taken your first step toward your goal just by creating that plan.        


   

Obstacles or Opportunites

Posted on

 

Obstacles or Opportunities???

 

 

“The bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you don’t change direction” – Anonymous

 

You know where you want to go and you have an idea of how you want to get there. That is the first step in your journey. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about business or life but the road to success is not straight and it definitely not smooth. If it was, everyone would be successful. Like a race car driver navigating a twisty section of the track you need to adjust along the way. The sooner you accept that these barriers exist and learn to alter your course, the sooner you will be beyond them and onto your next challenge.

It is these barriers and challenges that allow us to grow as a person or a business. With each difficulty or experience we grow and expand in what we are comfortable with. What previously seemed insurmountable now doesn’t seem so big. As we grow and experience new challenges we allow ourselves build upon the foundation upon which we began. That foundation becomes broader and can carry a heavier load. Throughout life each experience teaches us a lesson that we use going forward. That first step, that first day of school or first day on the job. Without these experiences we would never conquer our fears because we would never move forward or grow. These experiences exist in business as well. Whatever it is you consider yourself good at or whatever topics you consider yourself an expert on, you got there through the experiences and the lessons you encountered and learned previously.

To get back on track, we need to adjust our direction along the way. You can think of every obstacle as a challenge or you can think of every obstacle as an opportunity. With each new opportunity you have a chance to grow and expand your comfort zone. You can only expand your comfort zone by facing these obstacles and accepting the challenge to move forward. Yes you will make mistakes and even have some failures but if you don’t at least make an attempt to overcome the obstacles you will get nowhere. Michael Jordan is quoted as saying “The only reason he was successful was because he failed so many times.” Had he not made an attempt to overcome these obstacles and accept them as challenges he never would have been successful. Each failure is a learning experience and often a motivator to succeed and move closer toward your destination. In reflection, you will realize that these obstacles were opportunities to get you where you are today and set the tone for where you are going. You will get there if you learn to adjust your course.

 


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