The following is an excerpt from the book "The Abundance Arena" - by Richard Spector.

“Most everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” – Jack Canfield.

As human beings, we have a natural desire to be comfortable. It’s built into our DNA. In fact, most people will go out of their way to avoid being uncomfortable. Think about it; from electronic recliners, universal remotes, and smart devices like the Amazon Echo, as a society, we not only enjoy these things, but we also purposefully seek them out to make our lives easier.

Here's another example “being comfortable” is in our DNA. Have you ever gone to see an extremely long movie at the theater? I’m talking about a movie that’s usually between two and three hours, like The Avengers, End Game, or the latest Avatar movie, not the standard 90-minute showing. We sit comfortably for a while, eating our popcorn and enjoying our favorite beverage, until all of a sudden, something changes. One of our butt-cheeks gets numb, or our foot falls asleep, and now we are uncomfortable. So, what do we do? We shift in our seats, we rub our feet, we do whatever it takes to be… you guessed it, comfortable again. When our couch or bed is no longer satisfying, we get new stuff. When we get a little cold in our homes, we crank up the heat, grab a blanket, or make some hot tea, but we do something to make ourselves feel comfortable again. And that is the problem.

Please understand me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy these luxuries of life; of course, we should. Having the finer things in life can be amazing, but there is a glaring lesson here. The foundation of this success hack, or what I call in my latest book, a Secret Similarity, is this. Also built into our DNA is the fact that most won’t act unless they must! We don’t get off our butts and do something until we become uncomfortable. Then and only then do we take action in an attempt to bring us once again back to a comfortable place, or what is commonly called our Comfort Zone.

Most people (95%) won’t look for a better job until they are fired or laid off. Most won’t accept a career promotion because relocating to another state would be required. Numerous people have declared to me, “I love Florida; I’m going to move here someday," but never do. I can’t tell you the number of high school classmates that have never left the state, city, or even the neighborhood they were a part of. I personally know a few who are still living in the very childhood home they grew up in, or at the very least, living on the same street.

This Secret Similarity states that you must live outside your comfort zone. I personally teach that the best things in life are just outside your comfort zone. The real joys in life come into play when we pull ourselves away from the norm. When we take a risk, even a small calculated one, and leave our daily routine, we are pulling ourselves out of that circle of comfort. Better yet, each time we leave our comfort zone, our comfort zone gets bigger; the circle expands. As that comfort zone expands, those things you wanted that were sitting just outside the circle are now inside and within your grasp.

So, how do you live outside your comfort zone? I’m not saying you must immediately leave your job and move to another state for a better position (though I have done that myself), but you can start small right now. Have you wanted to go over and introduce yourself to your new neighbor, but you’ve been a little nervous? Do it! Have you always wanted to try Indian food at that new place up the street but are afraid you might not like it? Try it! Perhaps you've always wanted to skydive, even if it's in tandem with an instructor strapped to your back; pick up the phone and make that reservation! Early on, I was always a little nervous about after-work networking events. But, once I went to one, I realized I had nothing to be nervous about. In the famous words of Nike, just do it! Again, each time to leave your comfort zone, the circle expands, exposing you to bigger and better things.

As an example, let me tell you about a guy I personally knew back in Chicago that took a pretty big risk. He was a Regional Director for a large retail electronics company that I knew very well. One day his current boss (let’s call her Jenny) invited him and his wife to dinner after work, prefacing, “I have an opportunity I want to share with you.” Of course, he accepted the invite, assuming perhaps there was a promotion in his future, or he was needed in a different region, etc... Either way, he was eager to hear what his boss had to say. 

At dinner, what Jenny proposed was completely unexpected. Jenny had explained that she was leaving their current company to join a startup training company. She had already signed her offer letter and was now looking to recruit some people who would join her team in this new venture. Jenny offered him a Branch Manager position with this new company. The location he would manage had not yet even been built. He would have to oversee the buildout, hire and train new employees, and plan the grand opening just for starters. The principal shock, however, was that the position would be in Kansas City, Kansas. His response went something like this: “So, you mean to tell me you want me to leave a successful regional director position for a branch manager position at a location that doesn’t exist yet, with a start-up company that could fail? On top of that, I would have to relocate my entire family from Chicago, Illinois to Kansas City, Kansas, and we would have to be there in two to three weeks?” Jenny picked up her Tanqueray and Tonic and with a smile, replied, “Yep,” while she nodded and held her glass out for a celebratory toast.

The moral of this story is that after a brief conversation with my wife and the clinging of our two drink glasses, I did accept the opportunity. Yes, I was that Regional Director, and the new company was hugely successful. Within two years, I was fortunate enough to grow from branch manager, then director, to finally vice president, which paved the way for many future opportunities. To this day, I am incredibly grateful for being presented with that opportunity. Unbeknownst at the time, the retail company I left soon went out of business. It’s one of those critical points in life where, had I not accepted the opportunity, had I been too afraid to leave my comfort zone, things would have turned out much differently.

To live an abundant life, you must practice leaving your comfort zone. The more you do it, the easier it gets. The top 5% know this. In fact, they just don’t leave the proverbial circle every once in a while; they live there! It’s become a way of life for them, and it can be for you too. 

So, go and see an opera, jump out of a plane (with a parachute of course), bungee jump, take that new position, invest a little in crypto, move to another state, or take that painting class you’ve been thinking about. Whatever you decide to try, now is the time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

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