This rule came some years ago, more precisely, the first time I volunteered to rebuild in a disaster zone.
The area was far into a mountainous zone and we were surrounded by all sorts of fauna and vegetation.
After the second day, I realized that too many things were taxing most of our team: humidity, lack of sleep, bruises, cuts, rashes, bugs, food, all sorts of things were appearing here and there and they were all adding up, steadily decreasing our performance.
However, two of the volunteers seemed to be unfazed by this, as it turned out, they participated in this kind of things on a regular basis, when asked about how was it that they remained unfazed, one of them shrugged it off with a “most of this is normal to us”.
I know this “I’m used to this” speech is not new and chances are we have all heard someone say it in some way, but it was until after returning home that I started thinking about this and realized that this “problem” appears in everything else.
We fall into the oh-so-mentioned “comfort zone” and we pick a rhythm in most things, whether it is work, school, training, we somehow always fall into an implicit flow of things, and that’s ok, but the problem is, we get so used to it that whenever something shakes our zone, everything gets hectic.
And while we often hear the “get out of the comfort zone”, I decided to go a bit further with this rule and just avoid getting INTO any comfort zone at all.
What this means is, one should strive to live in a constant state of evolution, this can be achieved by putting pressure on ourselves, even if there’s no external situation chasing us.
The “trick” is to only add and mix irregular situations in our daily lives:
- 30 day deadline? Chase yourself to meet it in 15 days, then 10, then 5, keep an eye on the quality and then, if a real deadline gets pushed ahead you won’t even feel stressed.
- Got a regular training? Mix it with training in the wild, change the weather if possible, climb, fall, crawl, hit and get hit, if for whatever reason, that training ever comes to be needed you will be ready
- Work flow steady? Pick up side projects and get them done, get ahead if you can, load and lift as much as you can, if the opportunity ever appears you will be prepared to take it with every advantage
- Last point works for studies as well, master your area and then expand to related subjects; eventually you will master your field.
Go ahead and add skills, languages, sports, etc. whatever picks your interest, find a way to do more and then some.
It works in some ways as if it was a game, and the benefits of this is that, if we get too squeezed, we can loosen up a bit and if an external situation does come, chances are we are going to be more than ready for it, maybe we won’t even feel it when it comes.
Before finishing this post, I’ll write two small anecdotes that illustrate how this rule can easily be beneficial and chances are, you have been in similar situations at some point.
1.- A couple of years after implementing this rule, there was a business meeting with a foreign company at my former job, the representatives arrived but the interpreter did not (he got lost in town and then got stuck in the really bad traffic that we usually have) by this time I had already picked up a couple of languages, and it came in handy when, while talking to a coworker near the waiting room I hear the representatives getting testy due to time constraints and the lack of foresight from my company.
Being able to understand them and having knowledge on the project they were handling, I was able to assist the meeting and help them close the deal. Both the language and the knowledge of the project came as a result from following the rule.
2.- Years later while on another volunteering trip, we had a mudslide happen right at the area where we were working, much to my surprise, I felt incredibly at ease while helping the veterans take both people and materials to safety and, by the end of the day, when everyone was exhausted, I felt as if I had just gone through a light workout, needless to say, this resistance has been surprisingly useful in several areas of life, which is why this rule holds a dear place in the codex.
That’s it for this post; let me know what you think and what life rules you’ve found in your path! You can leave a comment below or send me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts or what you’d like to see posted in the future! Thanks for reading and see you next post!!