Whew, not sure about you but I have been a bit out of the ZONE this week with the recent time change. I realize we gain an hour by falling back in the fall but it takes a week or so for my body to adapt. I really feel for those of you with small children it makes your life a bit more difficult. They are still waking up at their usual time yet the clock indicates an hour behind or they are hungry at 5:30 and dinner is normally scheduled for 6:30. Maybe I should have selected adapt as my word for the week but instead while “Takin Time Out” and sipping on my warm savoring Zen Green Tea on this chilly November evening, I decided to write about the ZONE! Stay with me please, I have some good stuff to share…
What comes to your mind when you think of the word ZONE? Maybe such things as OZONE, Time ZONE, Twilight ZONE, School ZONE, War ZONE, End ZONE, Auto ZONE, Comfort ZONE, Buffer ZONE, ZONE Out or In the ZONE. I love taking a less common word, thinking about how we use it in our vocabulary or apply to our daily lives.
I travel quite a bit, I prefer to drive the shorter distant trips rather than flying, this gives me plenty of time to think, listen to various podcasts, audiobooks, the radio or complete silence. Yes, I love silence. However, it is inevitable I will always run into a construction ZONE. How many times have you driven for what seem to be miles and miles, with one lane of traffic and construction cones down the middle of the highway, construction equipment in the median but not a construction worker in sight right smack dab in the middle of the day? Then there are always my commute around the metroplex, I have to plan ahead many times being cautious of where all the school ZONEs are while I am en-route early in the morning or around 3:00 pm to my next appointment. If I happen upon one of these whether it be a construction or school ZONE, instead of being irritated for these little interruptions, I take a deep breath, slowing down a bit, realizing it does provide more time to learn patience, and be thankful for progress. I contribute to my belief system everything truly happens for a reason.
Also, while traveling about how many times do we hit a dead ZONE with the cell service, maybe you are right in the middle of a conversation and all of a sudden you ask a question and no one is on the other end or you try to call out and it is hung in space somewhere? There are other Dead ZONEs more commonly known as hypoxia which refers to a reduced level of oxygen in the water. Animal and plant life suffocates and dies off. One of the largest dead ZONEs forms is found in the Gulf of Mexico and is approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. It typically will happen in the spring and some scientists feel humans pay tribute by fertilizing their crops and excess nutrients may run off. The intensity can vary from year to year. However, it can happen naturally another large dead ZONE is found bordering Jordan, Palestine and Israel known as the Dead Sea. It has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Did you know it was one of the world’s first health resorts for Herod the Great? There is a wide variety of products people have made from the salt and minerals such a balms for Egyptian mummification to cosmetics and herbal sachets. I find this to be amazing.
In the Bible the Dead Sea goes by many different names:
- In the book of Genesis, the Dead Sea is called the Vale of Siddim: “All these were joined together in the Vale of Siddim, which is the Salt Sea” (Genesis 14:3).
- In the book of Joshua, the Dead Sea is called the Plains Sea: “That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the Sea of the Plain, even the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho” (Joshua 3:16).
- The book of Zechariah refers to the location as the Former Sea (i.e., meaning “early”; the Hebrew root q.d.m. means “early” or “before” and thus also refers, spatially, to the east, where the sun rises. Therefore, the phrase “Former Sea” indicates that the Dead Sea is located in the eastern part of the land of Israel): “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the Former Sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be” (Zechariah 14:8).
Well we are in the height of one of my favorite sports football season, I love cheering for my favorite team whether it be our local pee wee or school team, the famous NFL but I have to say College is my favorite especially when the underdog pulls out an amazing win. Nothing better than a fantastic catch right before Halftime and that amazing run right into the END ZONE…Score! Can’t you hear the crowd roaring and the band playing?
Speaking of halftime, I am well into my second halftime of life. While “Takin Time Out” I have a habit of reflecting on where I am and where I want to be and how I am going to get there. Last week we addressed the word Fear and how it can paralyze us from moving forward but there is another area called our Comfort ZONE I would like to talk about. How many of you would say the older we get the more we live our daily lives in the Comfort ZONE? The mental space we live in where there are boundaries and you feel a sense of emotional security with your work and your decision making? I will admit it is cozy and safe in this little box we have built. However, are we becoming a little more complacent and way to comfortable? Taking things for granted?
What changes would you like to make or items on your bucket list you haven’t completed? What is holding you back? Don’t park permanently in your Comfort ZONEs.
Please do not misunderstand me, I am not implying your comfort ZONE is a bad thing. I am simply pointing out your comfort ZONE maybe holding you back from learning or experiencing new things and preventing you from becoming more of what God has created you to be.
Here are a few things to consider in asking yourself if your comfort ZONE is holding you back:
Are you always tired
Excuses and lots of them!
A stagnant or failing business or relationship
Anxiety or Fear of your situation
If I have hit a nerve maybe it is time to take a deep breath and begin to stretch… I am encouraging you to put on a new set of spectacles and envision your life of thriving not just surviving! Let’s step out of the Comfort ZONE into another wide open adventure of passion, success, excitement, fulfillment, purpose, freedom, self-discovery and truly making a difference in this world! Can’t you feel your adrenaline rising or a spark of enthusiasm, I hope so. I encourage taking baby steps and accept that we are less than perfect.
Let’s do a fun little exercise, you will need a timer, pen and paper or if you are tech savvy you may use your computer. I call this dumping or downloading and for the next ten minutes just start typing or writing all those dreams, desires or things you would like to do or be…no rules…let’s get a bit crazy…after all we are stepping outside that comfort ZONE! What is it going to hurt you are only taking action by releasing it from your mind or heart and putting it down on paper…NOW BEGIN!
STOP…ten minutes are up! Whew…take a deep breathe congratulations you did it! You have taken the first step in crossing the line outside your comfort ZONE. How does it feel? I know a bit strange…
For those who didn’t participate you may be thinking I have lost my mind and this is the dumbest blog you have ever read. That is fine you can stay in your predictable space, knowing what is going to happen…that is fine by me. It’s your loss not mine and you will never truly know what you are capable of until you try!
For those who did participate, now look at your list and choose one or two things you are going to work on and take action. Set a date of when you are going to start. Maybe find a buddy or accountability partner to help encourage you in breaking your barriers and stepping further out of the comfort ZONE. You may want to choose someone you already know but maybe try someone new someone who won’t hold you back especially if your item is a bit crazy or adventurous. Changes are good and it is always more fun with a friend!!
If you will spend just a few minutes each day visualizing your success and your dreams you will become more willing to take further action. You have so much more potential than you give yourself credit…eventually you will find yourself operating in Your ZONE of Genius! You are closer than you think in maximizing your performance of possibility and being in The ZONE and outside your comfort ZONE.
Well I must wrap it up for this week…I am in the ZONE and moving forward…I hope while you are “Takin Time Out” you will consider stepping outside your Comfort ZONE and maximize your potential until next time my dear friend don’t let the OZONE cloud your dreams…