Years ago I went on a mission trip to Ecuador to construct a building in a small jungle town in the southern part of the country. After two days on the job site we received word the son of a team members had been killed in a car wreck. We needed to get the team member back to Quito, many miles to the North, so she could fly home.
Our guide Ken, the grieving parent, and I climbed into a jeep and sped north through the dirt jungle roads toward the looming Andes Mountains. Believe me when I tell you the trip improved my prayer life. The bridges were rickety. And words cannot describe the danger of going around corners on a dirt road high in the Andes with no guard rail. Once, the road turned into a single lane and we met a large passenger van coming around the corner. Yikes!
On the journey back to our worksite I talked to Ken. He told me he had been a successful insurance agent for many years. His bank account filled up but he wasn’t happy. He handed off the insurance agency to someone else and started living in Ecuador to manage mission trips. He went from living in a comfort zone to living on the edge of “Yikes!”
I guessing you live in a comfort zone. Why not? We are drawn to comfort zones. Who, in their right mind, chooses to live on the edge of “Yikes!”? I’m one of those people who made the move. I’ve never regretted leaving the safety of a comfortable position with a regular paycheck into the land of “Yikes!”
Here’s 4 reasons you should consider making the move from comfort zone to the edge of “Yikes!”
1. When you live on the edge of “Yikes!” you will become who you were meant to be.
Life in the comfort zone is not demanding or too challenging. We can cruise on autopilot. It is predictable. Once in a while a bump in the road arises but for the most part we know what each day will look like. But that kind of life will never force you to develop and become the person you were meant to be. It is through the challenges of life where we experience growth. I’ve never heard anyone say, “This week my comfort zone has really helped me to grow as a person.”
2. When you live on the edge of “Yikes!” you become fully alive.
Ask the guy who parachutes out of an airplane why he does it. He will tell you it’s because he never feels more alive than when he is flying through the air. People who live in a comfort zone tend to become the Walking Dead of society. They stumble through life without appreciating the joy of being alive. But living on the edge of “Yikes!” makes you fully alive.
3. When you live on the edge of “Yikes!” you become an inspiration to others.
Don’t you admire and respect those who break free from life in the comfort zone? When you read the opening paragraph about Ken, in some ways, didn’t you wish you could do the same? There are people living lives of quiet desperation who need to leave the comfort zone behind. What they need to make the move is someone to inspire them by being a living example. You can be the example they need.
4. When you live on the edge of “Yikes!” you will want to get out of bed in the morning.
How many times have you woke up in the morning, realized it was Monday morning, and wanted to stay in bed? Living in the comfort zone is like that. Who is excited about getting out of bed in the morning to do the same boring Groundhog Day version of the previous 24 hours? When you live on the verge of “Yikes!” mornings become a joy. You are uncertain what the day will bring. Every day is a genuine adventure.
My heart goes out to those who are stuck living in a comfort zone and cannot imagine how to get free. Here’s a couple of suggestions on how to make the move.
First, start small before you go big. Think of one thing you would like to do which forces you out of your comfort zone. Drive a different route to work. Change your daily schedule. Eat at a new restaurant. Do one thing to stretch you and notice how it makes you feel. Life didn’t end. Admit it: you liked it!
Second, once you’ve gained confidence in expanding your comfort zone, go for bigger ways to move toward the edge of “Yikes!” Maybe it’s time to quit your job or jump out of an airplane or buy a single mom a new car. It’s time for you to live life fully alive.
In 48 hours I’m packing my van and driving 2000 miles to work with a group of people I’ve never met. I will be there for about a year. I live my own life on the edge of “Yikes!” And I can testify to you there is no other way I would rather live.
There is no overpopulation on the edge of “Yikes!” Most people will never make the move. They will forever be stuck in their boring comfort zone. But I have high hopes for you.