Month: October 2023

In and Out of the Comfort Zone  

Once there was a man who was never satisfied, who always wanted more. He always needed to get to the next level. He had a goal of making a million dollars a year, then he wanted two million, and then a million a month, then two million a month. And that was not enough, either. He had wealth, he had fame, he had all the stuff money can buy, but he never had enough. 

Some preach that this striving is a virtue. “You can’t make progress unless you are willing to get out of your comfort zone.” Carried to the extreme, the mindset seems like a treadmill—or a trap, even. Always pushing, never satisfied? Sounds like it could be a sad way to spend one’s life. 

On the other hand, a friend told us a while back about her grandmother, who always said, “I have enough, and enough is as good as a feast.” One imagines that Granny was as content with life as a person could be. 

But taking that to the extreme, where would progress or innovation happen if everyone resigned themselves to living with things just as they were? Would anything change in a world where everything was perfectly comfortable and everyone had what they needed already? 

It is for each of us to sort out what we want out of life, how to get it, and the meaning of happiness. And that might mean figuring out what we need to do differently to get there, and then recognizing it once we have gotten what we need in terms of money and stuff. 

Then, once we’re comfortable in one area, we might turn our aspirations to more elevating topics—maybe helping family, developing new skills, or improving the community.  

For instance, can you imagine a community rec center in our little town? Or a scholarship endowment whose income would help any graduating seniors on their way to a trade or to higher education? More vibrant community organizations? These are some of the next-level things I’m dreaming about. 

We can be comfortable with what we have, and we can exercise our ambition to make the world better. We enjoy the satisfaction of our comfort zone in some ways and move ourselves out of it to dream big in other ways. 

Clients, if you would like to explore the ins and outs of your comfort zone, email us or call. 

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Spending Smarter

Our brains are so good at getting used to things that they will keep chasing new pleasures, new experiences, and the next thing to bring us a boost. But research shows there’s more bang for our buck by treating ourselves more frequently, in smaller doses—and our wallets might thank us. 

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Embracing the Absurd: Some Lessons from Seinfeld 

Picture courtesy of NBC

As we navigate our working years, there will be times of uncertainty. We may question our motivations, our goals, or the impact we are making. We may be searching for a partner to share the journey. We may wonder what it is we’re working toward. Questioning things is completely normal.

There was a fictional group of friends who were often switching careers, struggling in their romantic lives, and just trying to find their way. Anyone else remember Seinfeld? Okay, so it’s hard to say that this show represented “normal,” but it’s all relative, huh?

Seinfeld follows the lives of four friends in New York: Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. Each character has their own goals, career paths, hardships, and hangups—their lives couldn’t be more different, but they supported one another through it all. Sometimes it takes tough love, but they keep each other humble. (Like when Jerry has to break the news to Elaine that her dancing is atrocious.)

Life can get complicated; Seinfeld reminds us to work with the hand we’ve been dealt. George always tries to take things with a grain of salt. As he once said, “Divorce is very difficult. Especially on a kid. Of course, I’m the result of my parents having stayed together, so you never know.” (George’s life could sometimes be a mess, but hey, we all have troubles!)

The show reminds us that while starting over can be scary, it can also be exhilarating. We get to experience “firsts” all over again. Elaine is a good example. There’s the first time meeting new coworkers, the first time holding hands on a date, the first time we get a fresh paycheck and get to decide what to do with it. Elaine shows us that it only takes a little energy—and maybe a commercial break—to jump back into it. All these opportunities wouldn’t be available if we didn’t keep putting ourselves out there.

There is never going to be a perfect way to handle a hard situation. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore our challenges, to never learn or grow. Kramer tends to think of his life as “doing what I do, the way I’ve always done it, the way I’ll always do it,” but that won’t get most of us very far.

It’s good to remember why we keep at it, too. We don’t want to be like Jerry and think, “Why do I always have the feeling that everybody’s doing something better than me on Saturday afternoons?” We don’t need the same plans as everyone else: we need the plans that work for us, the ones we actually want to be enjoying!

Do our actions align with our goals? Is there anything we could be doing differently? The funny this is, Seinfeld is known for being a show “about nothing,” so it does give us a chance to think about what all this is adding up to. Are we headed for a retirement like Jerry’s parents, with a condo in The Pines of Mar Gables? Are our plans, our support system, and everything else pointing us in the right direction?

Seinfeld may resonate with some of us because we enjoy comedy, but we also enjoy the fact that the characters show up for each other and keep at it, time after time, even when life is at its most absurd. It’s not a bad reminder.

Whether you’re starting a new job, a new relationship, or a new stage in your journey, we wish you the best. It’s aways better if you can lean on your friends and get some laughs in along the way.

Call or email us, anytime – our perspectives are free, just like your friends.

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The Best Time To Start

“Well begun is half done,” the proverb says. And we tend to agree. Since it’s your journey, we don’t like to sweat the particulars: it’s never too early to start, but it’s also never too late.

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