The other day while doing the rounds on the blogs I read, I found an interesting post which started off with the following quote:
Go beyond what makes you comfortable. Open yourself to ideas, events, relationships that make you uncomfortable. Travel places where you know no one. Learn another language. Create art, even though you’re not an artist. Argue with people. Fall down. Get up. Read books, all sorts of books.
I loved this quote and it embodies everything that I want to do in life. I felt so inspired by the quote that I felt the need to write a post about it. The post went on to give advice on how to expand your boundaries by doing the following:
1) Acknowledge Your Fears
2) Take Emotional Risks
3) Check Routines, Chuck Some
4) Expand the Boundaries of Comfort
5) Don’t Play Trading Places
6) Think: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?
7) Fire Up Your Curiosity
In 2006, I took an emotional risk of sorts. I started a Masters which had nothing to do with my background in engineering. It might not sound like a risk, but I was moving out of my comfort zone. I was taking on something I was completely unfamiliar with. This was very unusual for me as up until this point in my life I had been orthodox and never did anything unusual. I was taking a risk. It paid off.
This course not only introduced to me to some amazing people who I’m still friends with but also turned out to be the turning point in my life as it completely changed my ambitions and goals. The moment was my course’s fieldtrip to Istanbul, where we spent roughly a month working with a gypsy community to try and save their neighbourhood. It truly was one of those life changing trips and the moment that changed things for me was when Bilal (A kid from the neighbourhood), gave me a hug on the day I left and said “Thank you for trying to help us”.
You would have to be a cold heartless robot for a moment like that to not have a profound impact on you. That was the moment where I realized that I didn’t want to be part of the corporate machine anymore. I decided to reassess my life. That reassessment led me to change my goals. The route to achieving those goals would allow me to stick to parts of my original plan, however flexibility would be key. Unfortunately I’m still a cog in the corporate machine but I’m using it reach my objectives. Earning money to travel and gaining experience to eventually do what I want to do. Helping people.
The fieldtrip taught me a another valuable lesson. Life was too short to always play it safe or not play at all and from that moment onwards I was determined to get the most out of it.
The trip to Istanbul had changed my life however what I didn’t realize was that it was also going to cause a chain reaction of event which would eventually bring to where I am now. Libya. If someone had told me ten years ago I would be living in Libya, I think I would have died from a laughter attack. But that’s where I am. Why? Because I decided to take some emotional risks, move out of my comfort zone and was curious!
Any regrets? Not taking risks sooner!