The Future Begins Now

Happy New Year

Each new year brings new hardships and new opportunities. I’ve recently heard many people express their relief that 2014 has ended. At first I was inclined to join them. This was a difficult year for me in many ways and when I look back, the bad things tend to stand out more than the rest.

But in many ways, 2014 was also a very good year for me. There were plenty of professional and personal achievements this year, as well as fun times with friends and family, yet these things seem less distinct to me that the hard times. How often do our reflections take the good things into account? It seems like looking forward is always through a positive lens and looking back is through a negative lens.

Then again, don’t we grow and learn from hardships? Isn’t it the difficult times that build character and perseverance and motivate us to try harder next time? I don’t know many people who succeeded without failing first. It’s life’s hardships that give us the education and motivation to build future success.

The Future Begins NowAt the very beginning of 2015 my perspective is this; yes 2014 was a hard year, but I’m going to learn from each hard lesson and use them to fuel education and motivation for the coming year.

We don’t know what the future has in store for us, but if we make a solid plan with realistic goals we are in much better position to shape our future. We are always on the threshold of our own futures, but on New Years day it is more obvious than ever that the future begins now!

 

This post originally appeared on the Magnetic Blog.

Comfort Zone

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new. –Brian Tracy

Some of us work our whole lives with the goal of being comfortable. We strive for a comfortable home, a comfortable car, income, etc.
There was a time that I subscribed to that type of thinking; life would be better if I could just be “comfortable”.

I think it was the cable TV show What Not To Wear that first woke me up to this deceptive word. Whenever the person getting a fashion makeover tried describing why they wanted to hold on to one of their old, beat-up, pieces of clothing they almost always described the clothing as comfortable. At this the show hosts would cringe and go on a rant about why comfortable is not on the list of criteria for looking good.  In the same way, comfortable does not make the list of criteria for being successful!

Move out of your Comfort Zone

I get it. Life is hard and it’s easy to become complacent. I’m that way too.
I remember seven years ago I was not only complacent, I was stubborn about being complacent. I was seeing signs at work that my job may be eliminated, but I was choosing to ignore them. I remember telling my wife, “It took me two years to find this job, I don’t have the energy to look for another one now!”.
Yet despite my will-power and determination, and (especially) despite my complacency, my job was eliminated, just as I knew it would be. Because of this I was in the worst position of my life; No job and little preparation for finding another.
I’m not sure what I could have done at that late date, but whatever it was  it would have been better that doing nothing and pretending the problem didn’t exist.

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
–Brian Tracy

I love that Brian phrases this quote so well. He uses real words like awkward, and uncomfortable. Brian is right, it is awkward to put yourself out there. When you’re on a new path you’re out of familiar territory. You may venture off of the path and you may get bumped and bruised, but there is something that will surely happen: you will move forward, and you will grow.

What are you doing to get out of your Comfort Zone?

 

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Neale Donald Walsch

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