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There is a place in our heads that allows us to have new experiences, attempt new adventures, try for new accomplishments, and overcome the challenges that life and business exert on us. It is the opposite of "The Comfort Zone." I call it the "Zone of Achievement." When we are in "The Comfort Zone" life is like that old pair of comfy blue jeans, sneakers, and a favorite sweatshirt (the one without the sweat stains). We are relaxed, easy-going, satisfied, and satiated. That's fine and good, but it is difficult to accomplish much while there other than enjoy oneself. In order to achieve, we have to leave that comfortable, familiar place and venture into the "Zone of Achievement." That's the place where we are excited by opportunity, alert to danger, alive in the moment. We concentrate hard and maybe that sweatshirt starts absorbing some perspiration. The Zone of Achievement is the place where new plans hatch, strategies are devised, tactics are sharpened like spears. It's where we go into the unknown, sometimes to greatness, sometimes to failure but to rise up to try for greatness again. Great, fast-growth companies large and small, spend a great deal of time in the "Zone of Achievement." Great athletes, artists, businesspeople, professionals, generals, achievers in all walks of life are comfortable in their discomfort. That is why and how they get to be great. Companies that wallow in their comfort take the easier, more relaxed path. They may enjoy success, but rarely break out of a mold of mediocrity to reach the pinnacle of their profession or industry. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong being in, and wanting to stay in, the "Comfort Zone." It is a business and personal decision, though a decision that many people and businesses have made unconsciously because they want to remain comfortable instead of adventuring off into the unknown. But if they are comfortable, yet dissatisfied, they could consider setting more ambitions goals and start taking small steps, dipping their toes into that "Zone of Achievement" then, when they are less uncomfortable there, venturing farther.

Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" For a free coaching session, email Larry for an appointment - Larry@larrygaller.com. Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.larrygaller.com


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Get Into the Zone  

Companies that wallow in their comfort take the easier, more relaxed path. They may enjoy success, but rarely break out of a mold of mediocr...

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