When you look back in time, you realize all the things you SHOULD have done, what COULD you have done. Whether you’re the greatest mind or merely the most average mind, you can always look back at your experiences and think ‘Hey! What if I did this? Had I done THIS, then things would be different or even better.’
Indeed, hindsight is always 20/20
The saying goes: “Do whatever makes you uncomfortable because that will make you grow.”
But what if EVERYTHING makes you uncomfortable? What if everything makes you work outside of your comfort zone? What if everything you do creates a little bit of anxiety and nervousness within you? What do you do then?
Is it uncomfortable simply because it’s foreign to you? Or is it uncomfortable because you’re scared of being bad at something? Or is it uncomfortable simply because it requires work?
If it’s any of the first two then I can almost assure you that you will grow in terms of self-actualization. But if it’s the latter, then it will only cause minimal growth.
I was faced with two options: continue looking for a full-time job to support myself, or go away to Hong Kong and obtain some sort of euphoric travel experience. Both situations were uncomfortable to me: the former being that I have to stick with something unknown and that I am horrible at. And the latter being that I am going to a country where I haven’t been in nearly 10 years.
Looking for a full-time job is uncomfortable to me not only because it’s foreign but it is also because I am downright horrible at it. And when I do inevitably find a job, I am going to be bad at that too (in terms of starting at the bottom of the corporate ladder and climbing my way UP.)
But going away to Hong Kong was simply uncomfortable because it takes work. It takes work to pack clothes, think about what to bring for 3 weeks, meal prep, and mentally prepare to meet relatives I haven’t seen in a decade.
And then it became clear, I need to get better at being absolutely shit at something. If I only do the things I am good at, I will never grow or be better. If I continue doing things that I suck at, then the only way for me to go is up.
And then I realize, there are two types of comfort zones, and subsequently, two types of growth. One is simply because I am lazy and that comfort zone is physically manifested as my couch. And the other is a mental comfort zone.
One will incite growth in terms of self-actualization. The growth in actualizing your potential. The other will incite hard-work: to not give into temptations or that lackadaisical feeling.
So then I think to myself; in what situation can I force myself to incite growth? Growth in me as a person and not just getting off my ass? What will help me become an adult, grow up, and attain my goals? Now clearly, I need to know what my goals are in order to set a path towards them. But what can I do to shorten that path between my current situation and that of my awaited situation?
And then I know: I need a clear vision of what I want.
I need to know who I want to be and envision myself in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years. Where do I want to be? Where do I want to live? Who are my 7 closest friends? What do I wake up to every morning? How do I look?
And then work backwards from there. If it’s a penthouse I want, what’s the quickest way to acquire the down payment for that penthouse? If it’s surrounding myself with smart successful people, where can I find these potential mentors? At a bar,at a business conference,a Facebook group, or an online forum?
The vision I have in my head will ultimately determine where my body will go. Thoughts become things as Kai Greene once said.
So if hindsight is 20/20, what if we project ourselves into the future and then think and work backwards?