Comfort Zones And Lobsters

Lobsters? Who cares? Comfort zone? Maybe. But what does the one have to do with the other?

Yet.. wisdom can come from unexpected places in totally unsuspecting moments. And it’s not that we don’t know about our comfort zones and how we need to get out of them in order to create, move, innovate, experience excitement, and just learn to be even more resilient and strong.

“…If we use adversity properly, we can grow through adversity.” So, watch the Rabbi in his articulate and wise way, and do it like the lobsters do. 🙂

Stop Being Afraid

minionsI’ve been mentoring someone -let’s call him George – and he was simply scared. All I did was ask questions and listen.

I slowly helped him peel back the artificial wrappings of a box of rotten candy – and the metaphor has nothing to do with Forrest Gump. He had the courage to look straight into the mirror and clear the fog that obscured his own image. He took a stance and made a decision: to stop being (and feeling) afraid of what others might say or think about him; to be honest and honor his integrity and professional standards.

Yes, it is as simple as it sounds: Think through the consequences of how certain actions might impact a situation, see the options, potential and possible outcomes and decide. In the end it always comes down to only two questions:

  1. Can anything happen if you do nothing?
  2. What do you have to lose?

So, this guy said that as he was talking to his boss, he could hear my voice in his head, and he was imagining me guiding him. I smiled when I heard that. “Challenge for thought, support for action.” I had nothing to do with what he chose to say and do. He simply felt comforted by thinking I was there to guide him. He did it all alone – I was nowhere near him.

In the end, it’s only human to feel the need to have a friend, an advocate, a supporter. As long as this idea does not make you need permanent crutches and it only serves as the training wheels on the brand new bike when you are only three, it’s OK.

So, here’s to you, George and congratulations for being bold and brave to do what you really wanted to do.

Why Bother? Really?

start tripWhy bother? (Or don’t have to because…)

  • My boss loves me…
  • I make enough money…
  • I feel comfortable where I am…
  • It’s hard looking for something new…
  • My wife is a doctor…
  • My dad is a lawyer…
  • I am too old to bother…
  • I am too smart and I am OK for now…
  • I am too smart to waste time looking…

Really? What’s your excuse?

Life’s a basket full of experiences, challenges, new ideas, feelings, rainbows after the rain and skies that open up to new possibilities.

So, get out your painting brushes, materials, colors, papers, feelings, thoughts, ideas, frustrations, words, and anything else you feel you need – and think of Michelangelo. Be a Michelangelo and start dealing with whatever it is you need to solve.

And, if you really want a kick in the rear end to get you started, do something simple. Go to your inspiration library and pull the story of someone whose life was/is harder than yours. Be humbled, see what they went through and how they overcame. And if you don’t have a library – maybe it’s time to start putting together your very own and personal inspiration collection.

And if you don’t have anything right off the bat, borrow some of mine:

Just don’t sit on your excuses!

Success + Failure

Success or Failure OR Success and Failure?

The two go hand in hand. Highly unlikely you’ll succeed without failing often, regularly, repeatedly – and for the super humans out there rarely. And what is success without failure really?

Just watch The School of Life short video:

And regardless of what’s your definition, occasionally the hard battle to succeed is still not enough…

And it still hasn’t worked…in spite of all your efforts.

You feel you cannot not do it again – to try to succeed again, as tiring and unfair as it seems.

And failing is just one option before the end-game of your own definition of success. As Seth Godin wrote recently “Best work followed by best work followed by more best work is far more useful and generous than merely doing your best work once and insisting it is only fair that you eventually win.”

We’ve been taught that failure is the closest to a dirty word. It’s one of these rare concepts that by itself it’s categorized by its opposite: success. And if you want to be successful, you can’t possibly want to fail. But hold on a second! How can you possibly know what success is all about until you’ve actually tried again and again and yet one more time to make whatever it is you are trying even better?

So, come on. Go out there and just fail fast so you can succeed quickly.

Final Respect

The story of the 11 year old Chinese boy who died last month of brain cancer but not before donating his organs, is a sad yet an uplifting one. But the photo of the doctors paying their respect as his body is rolled our with his mother crying in the background hit a nerve.


Has the doctors’ bow eased the mother’s pain? Has it evened out the sense of injustice, calamity, senseless loss and tragedy for the child that died at the age of eleven? And how, why and who took the photo at that critical moment? Or maybe – just maybe, could it be staged?

The photo and the story behind it, made me think of Akira Kurosawa’s Roshomon and the interpretative labyrinth of possibilities and subjective truth.

But in the end, it’s all irrelevant. According to the story in China Daily, the little boy wanted to become a doctor to save lives. He somehow knew that he could do just that it if he donated his organs – so that was his way to come as close to a dream that was never meant to be. And he convinced his parents that this was the right thing to do.

The photo that echoes many more than a thousand words, was interpreted as being all about the doctors paying tribute to the choice of the dead child. Yet, this photo could be about many things:

  • The doctors’ tribute and final respect to their patient who donated his organs;
  • The mother’s despair in spite of the doctors’ bowing to her dead son and his decision to save lives;
  • The poster photo for a marketing campaign for organ donation;
  • The reminder that every ending can also bear the seeds of new beginnings and possibilities and ultimately hope.

The way I see it, it’s all about determination and clarity and subsequently focus, especially when it comes to figuring out what exactly the dream is, where it will take us and how it will change our world or the even better – the world at large.

But I am also a romantic. Unavoidably, I was touched by the bow, the appreciation, the gratitude shown by the doctors – the ultimate tribute and respect to the little eleven year old boy who lost the battle to cancer.

Whatever emotions, thoughts, puzzles the photo brings up in you, Pirandello said it all in his wonderful poignant play, Right you are! (if you think so!)…

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