I cannot remember exactly when I started consciously testing my own limits, but upon reflection, I believe it was around my late-20s. Some of you might be able to relate: the closer to 30 we get, the more life seems to make sense (or not)…but really, this is a result of just accepting who we are, whether others do is another question altogether. We slowly tune-in to ourselves, and let go of those things that hold us back from discovering this. Many would have married and started families by the time they hit late-20s, or at least be in long-term steady relationships. Most will have steady jobs or quite established businesses, and have time to begin to travel the world without too much scrimping.

The younger version of myself was curious about the world, curious about science, the natural environment, and doing things to help protect it. But of late, I realise that I have not really applied 100% of myself on any of those. I gave more energy to my work, profession, and making money. I found myself somewhat lost in chasing dreams and not actually living them…yet part of me knew that dreams need work. I felt happy enough that I would exist in a work environment, functioning with enough love and respect that it gave me some security, and delivered.

But I learned that security is an illusion, and maybe this is why I decided to scare myself a little. Looking back at the past 15 years of my life, the comfort zone extensions started at 19 and gained momentum upon hitting 27…to name a few events:

Moved abroad. Moved in with a strangers. Met guys online. Lived alone. Learned to cook properly. Dated and fell in love. Climbed cliffs, some quite big (but not as big or difficult as others dare). Kayaked white water. Flew off a hill solo on a paraglider with no formal tuition. Had no money. Started a consultancy. Travelled alone. Travelled alone by bicycle. Learned to sail a yacht. Accepted a job posts that challenged me. Packed up life. Moved to a sailboat with partner. Sailed in challenging conditions. Got lost, many times. Wrote this blog. Bared my soul.

I now realise that the need to extend this comfort zone is showing signs of slowing down, yet I am still seeking fulfilment. At 33.75 years of age, I find myself questioning my life’s purpose, whether I could challenge myself more, whether I was satisfied where I got to, or whether there could be another aspect of life that I needed to explore. I know I want a simple yet meaningful life, and that my own view is that wealth is not material, but I do not mean this in an ‘anti-money’ sense.

Many people have extended their comfort zones in their own ways: getting married, starting a family, moving jobs, starting a business, retiring, leaving work, divorce, separation, moving city…What is important is that we extend our comfort zones with the intention to grow, learn, and challenge… not to be afraid to fail, and to try again.

Extending comfort zones allow us to become more resilient against the unplanned and unforeseen, but more importantly, it allows us to enjoy life a little more, or get knocked down and bounce right back up.

My current mission is to do at least one more major comfort zone extension in my 30s: To finally find myself and my life’s purpose – and the only way to do this is to search with love, give gratitude towards the new experiences, and escape the familiar, until such time that achieving Purpose is underway.

I don’t know how long this will take, but I am confident I will know when it happens. Does anyone want to join me on this journey?

Security is an illusion...

Security is an illusion…