TO HELL WITH LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE

TO HELL WITH LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE

To hell with leaving the comfort zone!
To hell with comfort!
Fuck the idea of discomfort.
Doing freaking skydiving is not getting out of the comfort zone.
Changing jobs is not getting out of the comfort zone.

I’m not entitled to tell anyone to get out of the comfort zone, or even sure I know what it is. But I am sure that the use of the expression is more often associated to bullshit than to what it should actually mean.

We live in a constant overvaluation of what others have, rather than appreciating what we, ourselves, have.

Today, as I was speaking with Miguel, he told me that he was born under a lucky star. “During my first and second grade, Monday through Saturday, we had soup for breakfast, soup for lunch and soup for dinner. On Sundays, we ate meat. I was born under a lucky star”, he said. Of course, he wasn’t referring to the wealth in which he had been born into, but the values that he was so fortunate to have at home, every single day growing up.

Valuing effort and commitment is key. It is increasingly imperative to commend dedication and delivery of outstanding results.

We’re living in an astonishingly beautiful era, but one which is presenting itself thunderously dangerous, due to its paradoxical ego-feeding and, simultaneously, ego-inflating environment.

As a matter of fact, ambition itself is being dismantled and replaced by the sensation of ambition.

Still during our conversation today, Miguel mentioned that, once, a client told him that he always found strange, and challenged, candidates that went into interviews and said their ambition level was a 9 out of 10. And the way he challenged was simple – he asked:

Consider that Cristiano Ronaldo, or Hitler, are a 10 out of 10 on that scale of ambition. Do you still consider yourself a 9?”

Immediately, candidates would start coming up with excuses for their first self-evaluation, and ended up changing their answers into 4, 5 or 6.

A while back, I was speaking with a childhood friend, who was lecturing me about all his great deeds that were still to come: “I am absolutely positive that I’ll have a life and career that will make everybody jealous!”. He honestly believed in that. Great! But to be truthful, I almost felt sorry for him. This guy, whom I hold so dear in my heart, doesn’t have a clue of how distant from reality he is. The irony in what he said is that he is 27 years old, still lives with his parents, in the small city where he was born, raised and has always lived in, never paid a bill in his life, never travelled further than the Algarve, 500 km away from home, and a couple of countries in Europe. And, on top of that, his job gets him a pitiful salary of 650€ per month. And he clings on to his belief that things will eventually happen. Life will happen by itself, because he believes in it.

Everybody wants to change the world, and be the next Zuckerberg or Gary Vee. Everybody wants to have a generational, worldwide impact. We all want to live a life where the people around us recognize in us the pride of having the life that we have. But, I believe, not a lot of us foresee the necessary investment associated to achieve it.

The truth is, up until now, I haven’t met anyone whose life or career I consider admirable, that hasn’t built it through huge investment and sacrifice.

To be perfectly honest, in my case, I always work with the purpose of finding a way to get more, while investing less. In a way, I’m trying to build an efficient career: maximizing return, trying to assure the least amount of investment possible.

Usually, the main emphasis is not put on the investment that needs to be made, but on the return that one aspires to have. This implies that you should not compromise the return by investing less, you should simply try and become better at your investments by getting more with less effort. The return is not, and can never be, questionable.

And so, there is a fundamental motto: in the lack of awareness of knowing what is the foundational purpose that supports our path, work is king. Assuring that results define the pace and that goals are always achieved is my way of buying my freedom.

In absence of a better reason, working to buy our right to be free is the biggest right that we have today.

Rodrigo Castro

An engineer who found his craft in people, I'm nonconformist and seekful, with a tendency to procrastinate. Ever-seeking for opportunities to become the better version of oneself, I'm a pessimist that always looks at life from an optimistic point of view. A believer in axioms and a denier of absolute truths, I'm a traveler that finds comfort in family and discomfort where they are. An existentialist in the making, I'm craving my path into building something great.

LISBON, PORTUGAL

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