Just about every story starts the same way. The hero of our story is sitting around in their comfort zone, pinning away for an adventure. Stuck in their old ways. Wanting something more out of life. Wanting to swim in another direction.
Link from the Legend of Zelda, usually starts out in bed. He is awakened by some chickens and given a sword and away he goes. James Bond is on a train chasing a bad guy and is summoned to the office where Q or S or someone else with an important letter tells him he has to go be dangerous in another country. Harry Potter is almost killed by the world’s most dangerous wizard and is stuck in his Uncle’s house for 11 years.
They all yearn for adventure. The true sign of a hero is they get outside their comfort zone. Go be a real man or woman. Find the missing piece in their lives. They almost get themselves killed many times, or lose all that they had. Or find out some mystery about themselves that they had never known. This adventure stretches the hero, makes them work, makes them stronger.
They get their happy ending. They find the lost treasure. They get the girl or boy. They learn that they were stronger than they thought they could be. They learned to love, or laugh or cry. They brought down the villain, or the empire, or the crime in Gotham.
We are all inspired and leave the theater, book, the TV inspired to do better. So we try to leave our comfort zone for a little bit. What they always forget to tell us is what happens after the happy ending. You know what happens. You just don’t want to admit it.
THEY RETURN TO THEIR COMFORT ZONE.
They eventually have to go back to sleep. They eventually have to eat some food. They eventually have to get married, raise kids, get a job, and watch TV.
People have this crazy perception that we are supposed to work so hard to leave our comfort zone, that it is such a horrible place. It’s not. Just look at the origins of the word. It is comfortable. It is a zone. There is probably an invisible, impenetrable forcefield all around you when you are there. Is that really so bad?
The fact of the matter is that no matter who you are, no matter how adventurous you are, no matter how many days you go without eating food, you are coming back to the zone. Fight it all you want, you want the zone. You need the zone. You can’t live on adrenaline forever. Eventually, you are coming home from work. After your marathon, you are going to come home and sit on the couch. It is a magnet.
So stop fighting the comfort zone. Come sit on the couch. Come watch some TV. Go to your job every day. Make some money. Learn to love the zone as much as I do.
Just remember even Link returns to his bed. And James Bond is probably at home playing some 007 on his couch waiting for his next assignment.
Bitter Comfort Zoner Ben