Key Takeaway: Get out of your comfort zone! For many of us, true purposeful living may and will entail a complete change of a way or two of how we do or see things. Do so. It might be very difficult at the start, but that’s the point – you grow for the better in the process.
Last night, I was able to have dinner with two friends I brought together for a meeting; one of those friends was Engr. Kevin Christopher Tee, responsible for the Weekly Word typographics you see on this site. Again, a very great talent he is.
He’s also a keen sharer of things he comes across, and frequently has something to share on our community Facebook group (if you haven’t joined yet, you better click that “Join Group” button right now!). Last night, he brought to the table one such post he shared towards the end of September, which I wasn’t able to see that time:
In a sentence, here’s what the video is all about: the bourgeois customer demands that the coconut seller lower his price to an unprofitably low one, then walks away when the seller explains he cannot, only to return with a commercially-bought juice product that he didn’t haggle for (not that he could, anyway). The question begging to be asked is: Why do we take advantage of those who are more vulnerable?
Kevin’s reflections were that we need to change our mindsets if we are to do what we in this community are setting out to do. And it’s not limited to changing the way we see and treat other people, especially those who are not on equal footing with us. For true change to happen, we have to change ourselves first. And if we want to change ourselves, we need to learn to get out of our comfort zones.
For all its being rooted in your Life Kit (that is, your own set of circumstances, skills, talents, interests, desires, etc.), living a life according to your purpose may still entail a sense of “more” from you: for you to go beyond yourself, to do more than you thought you’d be capable of, or even to walk a path you never thought you would. The last one in particular is often spoken of in both religious and secular wisdom (read: the Gospels and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost), and it is thus understandable that it arouses a sense of fear or nervousness in you. I shall admit: this very initiative does make me feel the same way. But if its purpose is your purpose, wouldn’t you go out of your way to achieve it, the same way you’d go out of your way when, say, courting someone? In fact, since this is your very life purpose, it would be reasonable to say all the more you should go out of your way for it.
Your purpose may also be a far cry from what you’ve been exposed to as you grew up. That’s the interesting thing about our Life Kits: they may take the same direction, or a 180-degree turn, towards our purposes, depending on what else they contain. On the one hand, one might have a strong sense of purpose in being a lawyer because since childhood, he’s been attracted to those kinds of things. But conversely, one might have grown up performing only to find out that his calling lies in songwriting for others. One famous individual who exemplified the latter was the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who was born a wealthy prince but had a life-changing experience outside home that led him to take up the reins of poverty, chastity, and a simple life.
As we change when we get out of our comfort zones, so do – naturally – our perspectives and even the way we think. This is critical in particular for those who may need to learn how to be more aware, or have a more service-oriented spirit. For those who were sheltered or grew up with a very narrow way of thinking, changing the way they see things – being open – may very well prove to be the clincher for them to catapult their way into the pinnacle of living that is higher purpose living. One thing’s for sure: exiting your comfort zones, and thus changing your mindset and even lifestyle, will always result in positive growth for you – no matter how little or how large, there is bound to be growth.
As we close yet another working week and ease into the weekend, I invite you to reflect on whether or not there’s a comfort zone you need to get out of, whether or not there’s a mindset you need to change, whether or not there are lifestyle practices you can do away with or begin. And how they can all make you grow towards the apex of living – towards your God.
Wishing you a purposeful weekend!