One of the most popular and densely populated places on earth is known to be the comfort zone. Many people think of it as the place of greatest comfort, not unlike the land of milk and honey. Wherever you stand around there, you're also lying on your lazy skin. You let foodora serve you food, Karl Lagerfeld be a good man, and you don't shower every day. It stinks here, I'm staying here.
That's an all-around familiar part of the comfort zone story, no doubt.
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In the blogcast, I read this recent blog article to you. With emphasis, of course!
The other part is: in the comfort zone, we don't just wear the slacks over our sweatpants, but also safety vests, diapers, belts, suspenders, airbags and hard hats. In the comfort zone, it's not only warm and cozy, but also safe. That's what we believe.
The protective equipment in our professional comfort zone, for example, consists first of all of competence. We know our way around, have an overview, all speak the same language, understand the culture, the codes and the contexts. There we can orient ourselves and plan something. There, everything and everyone is always loitering around the sofa, we stand still, and so does everything else.
One thing is certain: in the comfort zone, we bury our heads in the sand and watch ourselves do a slow-motion backflip into the good old days with what's still peeking out. The future in the rearview mirror, so to speak. We know what's going to happen anyway. Mostly nothing, until something happens.
The comfort zone is what we usually experience at the beginning of fictional stories in films, books or plays: the setting - the normal, familiar world. In masterfully told stories, however, if we pay close attention, we can already recognize a statement, an experience, a message, or a question in the main character that brings the theme of the story into his or her life, without the character himself or herself already understanding it.
Until something happens!
But then! But then something happens! Then comes the impetus for the hero:ins. Like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," they are hurled, actually or metaphorically, by a whirlwind from their comfort zone in Kansas into the wondrous world of Oz and must find their way home.
Or they miss something bitterly in their comfort zone, they want to have something, to achieve something. They recognize a goal, a necessity, hear a call, feel a compulsion to escape. They want love, recognition, to become rich, to hunt for the green diamond, to find their way in the Matrix, to imprison a scoundrel, to become a princess, to beat up Apollo Creed, to save their world, to save the whole world. Or all together, order doesn't matter. Just like in life, isn't it?
If this wanting, the pain in the familiar environment is not much, much greater than the fear of the unknown in a new world, if the call from a new world is not painfully shriller than the comfort of the soundtrack in the comfort zone, our heroine will never, ever get moving.
But if they do, then things start to move. Then the first threshold is crossed, the first step is taken. Now the journey begins, hesitantly at first, but soon with a lot of smoke on the chain. Let's go! And in the wrong direction.
This is the place where the twisted signpost usually stands. It shows the heroic characters the way to where they get what they want.
The truth that unfolds in the course of the story, however, is hidden beyond the gripping plot in the above-mentioned theme of the story. That's where you'll find what the hero really needs. And that is usually not what she wants. Just like in life, right?
The twisted signpost leads out of the comfort zone, out into the come-before zone. That's something, because at least there is movement, away from the pain, towards the call. Now we, the hero:inside in our own story, have to be damn awake and attentive enough to understand and recognize the call: as beautiful, splendid and tempting as the path to wanting appears on the outside, the Yellow Brick Road leads into the wondrous world within ourselves. There lies the Emerald City. There we are ourselves Wizards of Oz. There lies the magical treasure of our insightful transformation.
There's nothing wrong with becoming a princess or beating up Apollo Creed, as long as you understand that the theme of life-saving transformation for these two characters doesn't mean going from Cinderella to princess, or from loser to champion, but in understanding, "No matter what anyone says, no matter what they try to tell you, you're lovable, but you have to show yourself. So come forward out of your comfort zone!"
This is one of the messages of the lyrics from the magic hand of Bernie Taupin, which he wrote for the Elton John classic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road:
So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can't plant me in your penthouse
I'm going back to my plough
Every journey into a bright future is always also a journey to our own roots, to where we have truly grown. In this moment, in which we accept this, the want-path turns in the direction of the need-path and we can grow towards our destiny, our call, our hope, our task. Then the direction is right.
Come forward from the come forward zone.
Yes, that's the big difference between the comfort zone and the come-before zone: in the former our winter fat grows, in the latter we can grow beyond ourselves, into a great whole to which we make our meaningful and meaningful contribution. You don't have to be a nutritional physiologist or a psychiatrist to know what actually keeps you healthy.
Pertinent references to this can be found in the never-published book by the non-existent author Maximilian Glanz, whose eloquent title is: "Why it is that the individual doesn't feel well, even though we're all doing so well." Just normal madness, Helmut Dietl would say, but not make a satirical TV series out of it, but a documentary about these times of ours.
The two most important and difficult steps on the slippery bricks of the Yellow Brick Road are always the first and the next. In fact, for writing your real-life story or its next chapter, what Stephen King said about fiction writing holds true: "The scariest moment is always just before you start."
Fortunately, in order for this first step to succeed, there are plenty of impulses to help us. These are the stars to which we can tie our plow, with which we pull our furrow through our world of Oz. They are called mentors, just as the Good Witch of the North was for Dorothy.
Mentors know what to do, sharpen perspectives, and help us find clarity and orientation. In any case, they provide us with positive impulses that give us a little surefootedness and tailwind, at least for the first next step.
Currently, I can think of a few that I can recommend to you here if you want to enter new territory.
Neuland is the keyword and title of the podcast by Sonja Katoin which every Thursday she flashes up impulse miniatures together with practical tips as luminous stars for the day or the whole week. Appetizers for thinking for yourself, because as we know, thinking for yourself makes you smart ... This way to new territory.
Listen to the podcast of Rich Roll I recommend all the time anyway, especially if you have longer time, or just when you don't have longer time. You'll meet some terrific people here who shed light on quite a few areas that are important these days. Unfortunately there are only about 760 episodes.
Please also listen to the conversations with those people who don't immediately jump out at you from the topic at first, because we grow through the complementary, not through the algorithmic duplication of the same thing over and over again, as the social media feeds do. That hollows us out and makes us crazy. Come forward out of your comfort zone!
Elsewhere, I've already hailed Rainn Wilson's new book and given it an official #READRECOMMENDATION. Known as a fabulous comedy actor (for example, as Dwight in "The Office"), the person behind it is also funny, a wonderful writer, and someone with a lot to give. You can read many of his insights and findings in "SoulBoom - Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution" and you really should.
Rainn Wilson writes with great depth of content, a light, whimsical tone, and with practical relevance to everyday life. Yes, we need something like a spiritual revolution, that is, the lived realization that our hunger for success does not make us full, but greedy, and that our great stories of "more is better" and "prosperity through growth" produce anything but a happy ending, but rather conditions like those that blow up in our faces with increasing intensity every day.
We urgently need a better narrative for our time and for the future, a new story. Because before something changes, the story that is told about it always changes. What is needed is a new story that nourishes us from within and leads our society towards togetherness. That's what "SoulBoom" means, and as you can see in the photo, I found all kinds of things worth noting ...
If you want to experience Rich Roll together with Rainn Wilson, you can do it here.
As a mentor, accompanying others on their way to their Emerald City is something that gives me a very special joy, even out of all the joyful areas that I am allowed to fulfill in my field of responsibility. My heart swells when I observe how the glow in my mentees' eyes becomes more radiant step by step as clear orientation, sharpened perspectives and new clarity emerge and the twisted signpost aligns itself with "What I need," i.e. finally points to where "What I'm here for" is written on the door sign.
Just on Tuesday, I had an intense 16-hour day with three terrific female entrepreneurs, moving all kinds of things along, and already the next day, a values & purpose-driven investor pitch went smoothly over the stage. Hooray! In business, positive economic effects should definitely be created, I think.
In addition to the free mentoring sessions, I have developed some structured formats, such as the PowerHour. An hour whose power lies, among other things, in the fact that it lasts 90 minutes, has the thrust of over 30 years of experience, and in which we work with tools that can otherwise only be found in my Platinum program get.
If you've already listened to all 760 episodes of the Rich Roll podcast and still have time to spare, a day for example, then I can offer you the New Story Bootcamp highly recommended. This is, as the name suggests, mostly just a powerful, super-intensive day with Open End, specifically for Entrepreneur:s, Founder:s, Companies, Teams and Brands. A day where we really get to grips and end up with precise (re)orientation, a sharpened perspective and new clarity: the New Story that so many are looking for.
If you're interested, please reply to this newsletter and I'll be happy to send you the thick synopsis. We'll make our way home from New Story boot camp via the Yellow Brick Road.
If Bernie Taupin were to write a lyric for Elton John about this, it would definitely not be titled "Candle in the Headwind," but, in homage to my grandmother, the old Story Dudette: "New Story. New Glory."