April 22, 2016

Comfort Zone Musings

I LOVE travel, especially the ones that leave a mark on my passport. I love the adventure, particularly the rush of excitement on the prospect of venturing to the unknown. Don't get me wrong; I'm not impulsive. I like to plan my travels, or at least learn about the place that I am going to, prior to making the trip itself. My excitement comes from experiencing first-hand the expectations I've set in my mind (or on paper), and also from surviving any mishaps along the way.

But no matter how often or how far I get to travel, I would always want to go back to the Philippines. Not because I miss my work, or my lifestyle, or the company I keep here. I seek the Philippines mostly because of the comfort brought about by the familiarity and the routine I've already established here. Sure, I get bored once in a while (thus my need to travel), but at the end of the day, I would still want to settle down here in the Philippines.

Image source here.

So, my question is this: Why is this notion so bad?

Why are people being persuaded to venture outside of their comfort zone? Okay, venturing out once in a while can be healthy, as it gives us opportunities to gain new perspectives on life, but WHY are we being pushed to believe that settling inside your comfort zone is bad?

People are always in search of greener pastures, or at least taught to accept this mentality. They've been led to believe that there is more to their life than *this*; that somewhere, someday, there is a better job, a better opportunity, a better quality of life waiting for them. This mentality is clearly evident here in the Philippines, with all the people wanting to migrate to better cities, to better careers, to better countries. But have they ever wondered why they are leaving in the first place? What is the reason for not wanting the life they are living now? What is so wrong about their current city, their current career, or their current country, and have they personally done something to improve it?

Instead of searching for greener pastures, why can't people first cultivate the land they're living in? It's been centuries since we've evolved from nomads into settlers. We have the tools, the skills, and the knowledge to make better lives for ourselves instead of moving from place to place in search of that Better Life. Don't like your city? Improve it. Don't like your career? Ask for bigger responsibilities (just make sure you are compensated appropriately). Don't like your country? Contribute to the change.

My point is this: You don't always have to look outward to find something better. We are always a work in progress; maybe it's time that we look inside ourselves first to see if there are things we can improve, to make better. Maybe soon, that improvement will be enough for us to realize that everything we wanted can be found inside our comfort zone, and that the only thing we have to do look within.

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