Taking Baby Steps Outside Our Comfort Zone

Taking Baby Steps Outside Our Comfort Zone

Monday, January 16, 2017 1:51 pm


Grace Essen

Grace Essen

By Grace Essen

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a Chinese wise man and his disciple. One day in their travels, they saw a hut in the distance. As they approached they realized that it was occupied in spite of its extremely poor appearance.

In that desolate place where there were no crops and no trees, a man lived with his wife, three young children and a thin, tired cow. Since they were hungry and thirsty, the wise man and his disciple stopped for a few hours and were well received.

At one point, the wise man asked: “This is a very poor place, far away from anything. How do you survive?”

“You see that cow? That’s what keeps us going,” said the head of the family. “She gives us milk, some of it we drink and some we make into cheese. When there is extra, we go into the city and exchange the milk and cheese for other types of food. That’s how we survive.”

The wise man thanked them for their hospitality and left. When he reached the first bend in the road, he said to his disciple: “Go back, get the cow, take her to the cliff in front of us, and push her off.”

The disciple could not believe what he was hearing. “I cannot do that, master! How can you be so ungrateful? The cow is all they have. If I throw it on the cliff, they’ll have no way to survive. Without the cow, they’ll all die!”

The wise man, an elderly Chinese man, took a deep breath and repeated the order: “Go ahead. Push the cow off the cliff.” Though outraged at what he was being asked to do, the student was resigned to obey his master.

He returned to the hut and quietly led the animal to the edge of the cliff and pushed. The cow fell down the cliff and died.

As the years passed by, remorse for what he had done never left the disciple. One spring day, the guilt became too much to bear and he left the wise man and returned to that little shack. He wanted to find out what had happened to that family, to help them out, apologize, or somehow make amends.

Upon rounding a turn in the road, he could not believe his eyes. In place of the poor shack there was a beautiful house with trees all around. Three good-looking teenagers and their parents were celebrating their first million dollars.

He was dumbfounded, and went over to the man and asked: “What happened? I was here with my teacher a few years ago and this was a miserable place. There was nothing. What did you do to improve your lives in such a short time?”

The man looked at the disciple, and replied with a smile: “We had a cow that kept us alive. She was all we had. But one day she fell down the cliff and died. To survive, we had to start doing other things, develop skills we didn’t even know we had. And so, because we were forced to come up with new ways of doing things, we are now much better off than before.”

In life we all come to a point where we need to step away from what we are used to, or the life we are so used to, and adjust to something new as individuals or as a family. And I shared this story just to encourage us that outside our comfort zone is where miracles happen, where goals and dreams are achieved, the very ones we set for ourselves this year. Stepping outside our comfort zone can be quite scary. It feels more comfort to stay backwith what is familiar.

Here are a few tips on making some life adjustments:

Start with your mindset. Let go of every thought that says your life and things around you cannot change. Tell yourself you can be better and your life can be richer.

Let go of the thought that if you are not with your kids 24/7 something terrible will happen to them or the house will collapse! No it won’t!

Look around your environment, think of a few things you may need to change to create more time and space to enable you achieve your goals. Will you have to wake up an hour earlier or go to bed later so you can do some stuff you need to do? Will you have to buy food items and households supplies in bulk than make frequent trips to the supermarket? Maybe all you need isask your family to be a little more helpful with household chores, this will free up a little more time for you to spend on your goals.

Stepping outside our comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean we have to move to a new environment or change everything around us, however, is means is that we become a different kind of person, a different kind of family, a different kind of mum!

Check out Grace’s blog @Mum2MumAfrica.com
You may reach Grace on 08061367203, or via email: gracessen@gmail.com.
Follow her on twitter @GraceEssen, friend her on Facebook.


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