As soon as I posted my earlier entry on the comfort zone, I realized that I had not done justice to an increasingly important and complex subject. Comfort zones are vitally important in the overall scheme of life, but they are not the be-all and end-all of existence.
For many of us, life is an alternating series of struggles and restpoints. We struggle to establish ourselves in a viable paying job and this may be followed by a brief period in which we enjoy a certain degree of comfort. When we hit one of these comfort zones, we tend to relax and may even kick back a little and enjoy the scenery. This is a perfectly natural reaction.
It’s very important to acknowledge that you have accomplished something worthwhile. Failing to acknowledge your own accomplishments is almost as bad as failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, especially children.
So, back to this comfort zone. If you have ever reached one, you know what a sense of relief comes over you when you arrive there and find your stress level dropping to manageable levels.
Some people find a job where they can stay in a comfort zone for very long periods of time. They are extremely fortunate. I know, because I have experienced these happy times myself. When these comfort zone jobs disappear, it’s usually because of external events beyond the control of the group or its manager.
There is a traditional comfort zone, retirement, that many of us will never achieve. It came about in the 20th century because of a particular set of circumstances. A certain number of people found employment with institutions that provided pensions. These pensions together with Social Security afforded the retiree a modest lifestyle and a reasonable degree of comfort.
Some prudent and successful people managed to set aside money during their working careers so they could enjoy the retirement lifestyle pictured in travel magazines. They deserve their retirement lifestyle, as they worked hard to achieve it. However, many find that endless rounds of golf, tennis, and cruises fail to provide the satisfaction that service to others provides.
I will discuss how you might use a comfort zone as a launching pad for future adventures in another post.
In the meantime, how many of you have ever enjoyed life in a comfort zone? What was it like for you?