The Downside of Comfort

 old shoesRalph Waldo Emerson once said, “Unless you do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”  This week’s video post recaps a brief conversation I had with my youngest son that gave me insight into why it is so hard to move beyond that which we already know — and what we have to lose if we don’t.  It’s amazing what you can learn from your kids — and a pair of old, gnarly sneakers.

Here’s what I said in the video:

My son pulled these [sneakers] out of the trash the other day. He said, “Mom, why did you throw these away, I love these shoes!”

“Really?  This is why I threw them away.”

“But Mom they’re so comfortable and I love them and they’re black and they’re great and they’re all worn in.”

“But sweetie, if it rains, your toes are going to get sopped. And you can’t run as fast as you want to in these. And you can’t play kickball without injuring yourself.”

He insisted on wearing them. He dug them out of the trash and put them on one day even after we bought him new shoes.

But you know, I get it — because we all have our habits that are comfortable and easy and familiar. And we want to keep doing them, even when they don’t serve us anymore.

Sometimes comfort keeps you bound.  Dare to move beyond it.


For more on moving beyond your comfort zone:

The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be    PinocchioPrinciple

Softening the Pain of Growth

Taking Your Leap, Part I & Part II

Bridging the Gap Between No More and Not Yet

Are You at a Crossroads?




2 thoughts on “The Downside of Comfort”

  1. I know that you are making a point with that story. But I was a boy and I would make sure that I got new sneakers that were better than any before that. So you could spend enough time to make sure that your son gets new sneakers that are better than any he has ever seen before.

    I got into self improvement at a very young age so it is the way that I look at things. I have been doing yoga since age 12. Wikipedia did say, under Yoga Philosophy, “In all branches of yoga, the ultimate goal is the attainment of an eternal state of perfect consciousness.”

  2. Thanks for your comment, Chuck. I love your suggestion of getting better sneakers than he has ever seen before. That’s the perfect metaphor for what we are able to do when we let go of our comfortable, outworn habits. Also, good to be connected to a fellow yoga lover!

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