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09 January 2009

Constant discomfort – Is it good or bad?

Most of us feel that we are doing monotonous work and often find ourselves in our comfort zone. As soon as we feel that we are in comfort zone, we will have certain discomfort of our being and a urge to come out of it. It is this urge of constant elevation makes the evolution of human race. But yet, most of us fail to appreciate the importance of moving out of comfort zone and do something we dare to do because of the general tendency of not accepting the change. Here is an incident (this is not fictional story. it is a real incident).

Today, due to unavailability of fuel in petrol bunks, I traveled in electric train. The train was fully crowded. Jam packed crowd may be farthest meaning. I stood on my toes. I got down at Nungambakkam and as I walked up to the stairs, I heard a mid-aged man saying “Steps”, “Steps” and shortly after that “Flat”, “Flat”. Within few moments I happen to see a person (later I understood that he was in fact visually impaired) with no signs of being visually impaired, having a jute bag on one had, was cleverly following the instruction, reached to the top of the staircase without hitting anyone (On a contrary, I noticed a man (not visually impaired) hitting his fellow passenger and flew away). I did not have a percent of sympathy for my fellow passenger, rather inspired by his confidence and agility. During the course of his move, his response to the changes in terrain was impeccable, smooth and fast. He adjusted quite well and without the voice that guiding him, no one would ever guess that he is visually impaired.

I was thinking about this incident the entire day and thought I surely write a post (to reinforce my learning). Generally, many human beings do not exhibit such attitude unless they have the urge to excel (burning desire) or they are in tight corner (situational). But there are very few bravos who constantly take initiative to move from their comfort zone. and keep raising the bars. If we are complacent, we will generally feel that it is fine to be comfort zone as the going in comfort zone generally will be good. The going will be good until an external force is met (Netwon's third
holds good). When an external force is met, the situation demands a change. So, the people who are in comfort zone (due to complacency) react to the change rather in a pathetic way. They argue, without giving it a try, that the change will not work. But another set of people who know that they are in comfort zone but they have constant discomfort in being there. They try to adapt to the change with lot of help and guidance from a helping hand. They react to the situation. (I feel that I fall in this category but surely I would like to go the next category that we are going to talk about)

The set of people who constantly maneuver between comfort zone and discomfort zone anticipate the change and respond to the change gracefully. They understand that the change is required to bail out themselves from uncertainty or to constantly elevate them. The incident I said in the first paragraph is an outcome of a man who constantly come out of his comfort zone . For these kind of people experiencing is more exciting than being in limelight. They never intentionally act to be amazed. They enjoy the experience of being in discomfort zone. They never intentionally set themselves as reference points. It is just the by-product.

So, my answer to the question “Constant discomfort – Is it good or bad?” is both yes and no. It is good if you are acting on the discomfort. It is bad if you have it at feeling or emotional level. When you have it emotional level, it is like monkey having bananas in both the hands and mouth. When one more banana is given, it tends to drop one banana from hand and get the new banana from you. Discomfort should not itch you rather excite you to push yourself.

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