Tag Archives: Crave

Our Comfort Zones not only create Inertia; but also inhibit Efficiency & Growth!

Psychologically and biologically, we are always tempted to create comfort zones at work as well as in personal life and our natural tendency is then to live in those! Our comfort zones are actually the cause of our inertia, inefficiency and inadequate growth.

When individuals, management included, in companies start creating comfort zones, the result is unwieldy systems, structure and processes, rendering them uncompetitive. That is when companies have to go for costly ways of restructuring, reorganization or reinventing themselves!

Why we fall prey to inertia created by comfort zones

  1. We like path of least resistance.
  2. We talk of challenges; but hesitate to walk the same.
  3. We have implied liking for gap between our desires and drive.
  4. We relish things on a platter; that’s what comfort levels can provide.
  5. We are mostly risk averse and hence like to wander on roads most traveled.
  6. We carry false notion for developing expertise by only doing repetitive activities over a long period of time, which is devoid of challenges and instead develops comforts.
  7. We like Change; but don’t like to change ourselves!

What we crave and create, we own and don’t want to abandon i.e. comfort zones; this is what invites “inertia in our thoughts and actions”.

How inefficiency and stagnancy creep in

Comfort zones are big barriers to achieving higher efficiency and growth.

  1. Comfort levels are invariably coupled with complacency. So, people like to perform same function or work same way, they are used to do. They do not seek or even see areas to improve.
  2. Every activity or function has 2 parts – (a) what needs to be performed on a repeat basis and (b) what can be changed and done differently.
    Part (a) has possibility to execute faster through use of tools, methods and/or experience. But, if one is in comfort zone, he/she would be averse to apply the same, as mentioned under point 1 above.
    What is far more damaging is reluctance, which comfort zones create against implementation of part (b)! It is this part, which brings new ideas, innovation and usher in real change.
    When part (b) remains dormant, it drowns companies or individuals into gross inefficiency and ineffective growth and development!
  3. Rut of routine and repetition make leaders to lose their luster!
  4. Comfort zones are like cancer, which would only spread, unless cut away.
  5. Comfort zones are the cause of illusion that direction is right and drive is smooth.
  6. Companies and cadres lose momentum and rhythm; therefore, they are no longer vibrant and agile.
  7. Being devoid of Change and Innovations, all stakeholders would go downhill and degenerate.

When we are aware of consequences, why we still crave for comfort zones!

There are two main causes:

a. We constantly live in fear of known or unknown. It is because of this that we humans have become habituated to save our skin, seek safe routes and create secured environments!
Above succumbs most of us to tested and tried things. We start to relish things, which are routine and repetitive! That is how we develop inherent inertia and invariably resistance to Change!

b. This is strange; but true! It is easy for us to be complicated; but difficult to be simple. Therefore, we tend to complicate matters, methods or means, rather than simplify the same!

This is rampant across the globe. Such complexities make us to spend more time and energy in doing our things, test our patience and create fatigue. Feeling of comfort comes in when we gain experience by doing or executing these over number of times or we discover some steps to do these faster (which is actually not a simplification; but using familiarity for faster actions).

Comfort zones are nothing but emotions of ease in execution, which arise from past experience; but these are not necessarily efficient and are barriers to new Ideas and Innovations!

How to kill or come out of comfort zones

  • Contrary to your belief, comfort zones provide only temporary relief. It is the constant drive for Change, which provides continuous thrill. So, you have a clear and only one choice – cut out comfort zones!
  • Comfort zones would eventually kill or throttle your career.
  • These can enhance your experience; but not efficiency.
  • Preference for little constraint over comfort would always pay you.
  • Shed away your emotions for comfort; just capture experience or knowledge, which past instances have created. Your inertia would vanish, if you truly do that!
  • Very important to know is that it is easy to complicate matters; but difficult to make those simple.
  • Simplification brings elegance and efficiency.
  • When we reinvent, we actually convert complicated things into simple ones; not other way around.
  • Put stress on simple thoughts and approach, actions and executions. That would bring you out of your comfort zones and make you:
    • Agile
    • Vibrant
    • Innovative
    • Courageous to traverse on roads less traveled and discover how your dreams become realities!
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Why most Leaders and Legends fall!

Today, we need to ask and answer 2 questions:

  1. Is it a nature’s law that leaders and legends would fall in any case?
  2. If one has to fall in any case, is it worth going up the ladder of leadership and legendary?

It is a stark reality that what goes up, comes down; excellence brings adversity; when going is good, greed would take the grip and so on! There are countless examples in your home, neighborhood, company and countries world over. Some famous examples for the fall are musical genius Michael Jackson, soccer supremo Diego Maradona, cyclist legend Lance Armstrong, Citibank’s CEO until recently & leader Vikram Pandit and so on.

What drives you up and what drags you down

There are remarkable characteristics of individuals, which make them different, distinct and dazzle; help them to ascend to great height and status. However, during such upward journey, a stage comes when these very characteristics reach extreme end of their scale, put them in retrograde mode and reverse the direction of their rise!

See below some of such characteristics, which are cause of rise as well as fall!

  1. UpTalent & Traits –> Confidence –> Achievements –> High confidence –>
    Down – Over confidence –> Arrogance
  2. UpFocus –> Attention to details –> Good results –> Fervor –>
    Down – Finicky –> Fanaticism
  3. UpEmpathy –> People friendly –> Popularity –>
    Down – Excessively extrovert –> People weakness & vulnerability
  4. UpPassion –> Ambition –> Accomplishments –> Raising bar –> Perfection –>
    Down – Impatience –> Toxic
  5. UpInspiration –> Success –> Aspiration –> Appetite for more success –>
    DownGreed becoming greater than God!
  6. UpIdeals –> Credibility –> Creating impact –> Transforming into Idol –>
    Down – Image blues –> Maneuver or Manipulation –> Malice

Above clearly shows how the very qualities, which are highly admirable, can turn into adversity. You can now relate how several Celebrities and Charismatic personalities climbed up in their performance and popularity, and then came down.

Above also unveils an important fact – every characteristic or quality has a range from “plus” to “minus” and is like Inverse V. Its apex is the climax of positive part of a characteristic. On one arm of this V, degree of positivity of given quality increases on way up to the apex point and on 2nd arm, negativity increases on its way down! It is also very interesting that each journey, way up or down, is One Way Road!! That means you cannot come down from the road you climbed up!!!

Is the Fall inevitable?

No, it is not; but at apex, it is highly imminent, unless you play it very cautiously. Normally, people get hooked on to success, popularity, performance, publicity or power at climax and they refuse to see the reality of vulnerability! This is the precise reason of their getting pulled down.

Best choices available:

  • Quit at Climax gracefully.
  • Allow and accept a climb down to a certain point, which would preserve your credibility and courage. Swing between this level and apex.
    This happens to many successful people and organizations unconsciously. They race to the top, only to lose later to lower positions and then again race to top thru new strategies or renewed strengths!
  • Stay at climax consciously and carefully, discover another peak and start to race up higher. This is a tough option; but not impossible.

Is it worth going-up, only to come down?

In this question are important lessons to learn!

  • If you remain static or stagnant, you are sure to degenerate or degrade. So, without you having to do anything, you are surely going to go down.
    If you are complacent or comfortable wherever you are, then at one stage you would start to get hurt, when your peers, neighbors or bête noires start to go past you in status or position.
  • As time passes, you would always need more resources. Remaining dormant would only damage your sleep and security.
  • Life is lively and worth living, only when you crave and craft for “Change n Challenge”!

Therefore, do not be under any illusion that nature would allow you to remain stagnant in true sense – either you can go up or go down!!

Going-up is a Glory and consciously quitting or coming down is a Grace!!!

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