Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 2, 2010 1:12 PM

Getting Uncomfortable

Growing, changing and adapting to anything new is not easy. It's actually a very counter-human activity, which is why we need to push ourselves. Constantly.

It's easy to say, "this isn't for me," or "I simply can't change." It's a big mistake that most people make (and Marketers are just as guilty as the next person). Over the years I've heard people say things like, "I simply don't like to read business books," or "I could never switch over to a Mac because I am too used to working on a PC." Odds are you have been reading the wrong business books (or ones that didn't strike a chord with you), and just because you're used to a PC, it doesn't mean there wouldn't be significant benefits to your productivity to try something new/different. It reeks of ignorance more than anything else.

Self-imposed limitations are one of the main things that will either keep where you are or drag you down.

You'll never meet a successful person who constantly keeps things the way they or someone who doesn't push themselves to try something new and different. We all know that human beings don't like change. Nobody wakes up in the morning hoping that their coffee maker was moved or that their clothes are in a different closet in a different order, but there's a big difference between something being erratic in our lives versus constantly striving to try new and different things that will (probably) make you smarter, more informed and open.

"Getting uncomfortable" is a great personal goal to have.

I bought a MacBook Pro (and it just arrived). While I've used a Mac, I don't really know the Mac. I've been a PC user since the inception of the home computer. I know all of the tricks and tweaks needed to make it perform like a personal symphony orchestra. I have no issues with it. I've worked with every single version of the Windows operating system. In fact, I love it. So no, I'm not switching to a MacBook Pro... I am adding it into my arsenal. I want to get uncomfortable with having to learn something new. To re-think some of the tasks and actions that I can do so naturally, to feel and see what others do in the Mac/Apple cult and just be more well-rounded when it comes to computers and technology. And, between you and I, I'm scared. I don't even know what to do if the MacBook crashes or how to deal with it if I'm presenting and something goes awry, but I'm doing it anyway.

It's not just about the computer.

It's about personal development as well. Like most people my age-ish, I'm also interested in health and nutrition, so I'm eating differently. And, while I'm not getting into the Paleo Diet like my good friend, Julien Smith (co-author of Trust Agents with Chris Brogan and co-host of the Media Hacks Podcast), I am eating in a totally different way (the basic crux of it is that I am no longer eating until I am full, but rather eating until I am no longer hungry. At the same time, I'm just ignoring processed foods, sugars and fried stuff - as much as possible). The personal results have been staggering for me. On the reading front, I am also getting uncomfortable by reading fiction, articles from magazines I'd never normally be interested in, and I'm doing my best to consume books on a Digital Reader only and articles/blogs/online goodness via InstaPaper and on my iPhone. I'm also pushing in other areas of my professional and personal life.

It will make you creative.

New ways of doing things open up many creative doors. You see things differently. It adds a new perspective. It gets you uncomfortable. Then, once it becomes a part of your regular routine, you can bank it and find something else to do that will make you feel uncomfortable. It's a pretty simple and painless process that doesn't event take up that much more time in your day.

Why are most people so afraid to get a little uncomfortable?

If only brands and Marketers would do this more often...

By Mitch Joel