There is much talk of progress and success nowadays. What does it really entail? For argument’s sake, let us confine ourselves to make it mean: Advancement in career and money making prospects. This then presupposes that every- one would always be striving to improve one’s earning capabilities and keep on rising in one’s working domain to reach higher and higher positions in the given hierarchy. This may be the first fallacy but let us accept it as true for now.
How many of us are really prepared to go that extra mile to achieve this so called goal, which ideally everyone is expected to be pursuing? As I see it, the goal is more in the desire form than in practice. Every goal has ladders and every ladder has steps. Every step necessitates a struggle or overcoming a shortcoming. My personal perception is that most prefer to find a minimum sustenance program in life and stay within their comfort zones doing little to get out of the morass they find themselves in. Let us elucidate with examples.
Take a struggling lawyer. He has passed out recently and raring to go. What can he do to advance surely and speedily? Perhaps become a junior with an already established lawyer and under his umbrella make a mark for himself? To arrive even at this juncture would need a certain modicum of language ability and study of legal texts. If he has it and he is taken in, the beginning is made. Would he be content with this? A junior is but a junior. His job would be to take orders and labor his heart out to the bone. Will he bear with it and grow or will his vanity refuse to take this position so low in the pecking order and quit and move into a situation closer to his comfort zone? And what could this be? An independent status struggling to exist but at least his own boss!
Scurrying back into one’s comfort zone is a natural and primary tendency. This is at all levels; mental, emotional and physical. Laziness wins over effort most often. Change means learning and changing habits and this requires a concerted effort. Why disturb the status quo?
“Most prefer to find a minimum sustenance program in life and stay within their comfort zones doing little to get out of the morass they find themselves in.”
Take for instance the status of most marriages. Is it a made-for-each-other existence or a compromise where we learn to coexist for the comforts of a home? There are wives being battered but they continue to stay put. There are husbands being nagged to death but they continue to stay put. There are millions of people stuck in jobs and situations but doing very little to take the next step that will take them to better their existence. How does one explain this? Simple: It is so much simpler to live and continue within one’s existing known comfort zones.
Let us look around us. How many people are bothered to improve their communication ability yet never failing to complain that nobody understands them? How many are complaining that there are no avenues to progress in their lives yet failing to take any initiative whatsoever except grumbling? This is not only the soft option but also the option of cowards who prefer to scurry back into their zone of comfort at the first hint of troublesome effort like frightened mice into their mouse holes.
–Prof. Pradeep Kumar Mahesh