Many of us get stuck in our comfort zone, and who wouldn’t? But growth only happens when we are uncomfortable, and progress means being comfortable with uncomfortability. Don Williams flies solo in this episode as he tells a story of a recent flight to New Orleans and an unforgettable encounter he experienced. What new insight did Don glean from this? Tune in and find out!
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What Happened In My Flight To New Orleans
This is a great story. I was flying to New Orleans and I’m on American Airlines, which has who I normally fly because it’s so close. I’m sitting up front. I don’t always fly up front, but I’m sitting up front at this time. An older, well-dressed gentleman, nice sports coat, very traditional like he’s a lawyer, banker or something like that. Nice shoes and the whole thing. I’m sitting on the aisle as he walks up. He’s talking.
I think he’s having a phone call with his earbuds and he asked me if he can come in and I’m like, “Sure.” I get up and he comes in and he’s talking. He sits down and I don’t think he thinks about it. He’s continuing to talk away, and I think he’s on a phone call. He reaches in between the seats and he pulls out the life preserver.
It’s like when you fly and they say, “If we ended up in the ocean, you reach in here and you get the life preserver. You put it on and you strap it and all that.” He reaches in and gets that. He takes it out of the plastic bag, puts it on, and latches it around him. I have flown a bazillion miles. I have been around the world several times. I have seen a lot of unusual things on airplanes, but this is a first.
Try and feel good about that feeling of uncomfortableness because that's where your growth is. Click To Tweet
He’s continuing to talk the whole time, but I’m looking at him thinking, “Do you know something I don’t know? Are we going swimming and you know it and I don’t?” As we take off, he’s still talking. The flight attendant tells you got to turn your phone off. He’s still talking and five minutes into the flight, he’s still talking. I finally figure out he’s talking to himself.
He is not on a phone conversation. He looked at the aisle, which was me and him and he said, “I’m going to have a conversation with the smartest person on the aisle,” who he decided was him, not me. He’s talking away. He fell asleep during the flight and got the vest on. The flight attendant did not say the life preserver vest and I did not say anything.
It was a beautiful day. The clouds are fluffy and bright white, but it’s been pouring in New Orleans all day as we come into New Orleans. As we get lower, we get into the shady weather. The plane, there’s some turbulence in that. That wakes him up. As we got close to seeing the land, this freaked me out a little bit. He bends over and holds his head. He assumes the position they tell you to be in if you are going to crash. At this point, I’m like, “Do you know something I don’t know?” We land and he sits back up and he takes off the life vest and he folds up back up. He puts it in the bag and he puts it back in between the seats.
Once in a bazillion miles, do you see something like that? The thing that hit me was this. We talk about our comfort zone. We love to be in our comfort zone. Why? It’s because it’s comfortable. That’s pretty simple. We also know that growth, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and financially, all of that happens outside of our comfort zone.
We don’t grow when we stay in our comfort zone. It’s comfortable and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we are not growing until we get out of our comfort zone. What struck me about this peculiar gentleman was he obviously was an uncomfortable flyer to the extreme. He had somehow come to grips with being comfortable at being uncomfortable.
At being brave enough to go out there and not wilt, my thought for the day is this, “Try and be comfortable doing something uncomfortable,” even if it’s a little step out of your comfort zone. I will encourage you to take it and it will be a little uncomfortable, but try and feel good about that feeling of uncomfortableness because that’s where your growth is.