"For Your Inspiration" is an ongoing series of weekly posts…
Intro by Skip Cohen
It’s time to welcome a new member to Marathon’s blog family, Suzette Allen. She’s a photographer, videographer, writer, educator and a great friend to so many of us in the industry. She’s also considered the Queen of Hybrid, pushing all of us to be more creative in our slideshows and be better storytellers.
Today’s post is very different from most of what we’ll be sharing from Suzette in the future, but it’s the perfect introduction if you haven’t met her or followed her blog posts. It’s a few years old, but Suzette walks the talk and the theme is so perfect this time of year.
Sheila and I have spent a lot of time with Suzette and her husband, Jonny. Her passion for the craft and for that matter, life, is infectious. In fact, they’re both Panasonic LUMIX Ambassadors, never without a camera and capturing stellar moments so many of us would miss.
I read a quote the other day that just said, “Creativity starts just outside your comfort zone.” We all love our comfort zones and most of us are terrific at merely staying put, but think about those times you ventured outside the zone. It’s those challenges in life that give you the ability to create more and better fulfill your mind’s eye visions.
By Suzette Allen
Home: a place of comfort, familiarity, but not necessarily a comfort zone anymore. Hmm. How could that be? We all shape our lives by the things we do every day. It doesn’t really matter how lofty or important or vital something is to you. The things that shape our lives and carve out or define our comfort zones are the things we do every day- or nearly every day. It doesn’t even need to be something we LIKE doing. It could be something we hate or something even destructive, but if we do it regularly it DOES become a comfort zone; A zone of familiarity, even if it is painful.
Children, when they’ve been raised with an abusive parent will often still cling to that person and not want to go to a healthy environment because it is what they know- something known that they can expect and it is familiar albeit destructive or painful! It’s weird how we are wired to repeat. We are actually pre-programmed to continue and not change! Yet change is required for any growth and for true mastery of anything- even our destinies! We MUST break out of our comfort zones and embrace change if we are going to get any glimpse of greatness or significance or even grow toward healthier lives at all.
Writing is my comfort zone. I love to sit in my big chair with my pen and top-bound notebook and write. I’ve done it almost every day for most of my life. At least 30 years. And I’m pretty comfortable at home, but my life has changed and now I travel a lot. So today I found myself at home – but not in my comfort zone. It was weird! There were too many options, too much to do, too much undone- overwhelm on steroids!
Could the traveling life (which is pretty brutal and disruptive to a normal routine/life) actually be becoming my comfort zone? It IS something I do every day and feels so natural and normal. Hmmm. I guess that is a good thing, as it gives me a supernatural grace for a crazy life that few could tolerate. But I think it is worth looking at this concept and leveraging the process for goals and progress.
I’d like to apply this to the things I WANT to master and develop: fitness, blogging, videos. Theoretically, it should be an easy process if I can make it into a habit and just allow my natural tendency to continue, right? So that is my plan to make them flow naturally, painlessly: develop the comfort zone! I need to do it every day. Even if it is just a little bit- just do each thing, every day.
Beginning (again) today, I’m shifting the environment and shifting my direction by forcing myself to develop a new comfort zone where my mind and body wants to stay; a place where I have to actually work at it to waver off course.
They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. And 40 days for some other psychological benchmark….can’t remember what it is! But regardless of what day it is, I think it is a good day to begin anew!