~Day 25~EXPANDING YOUR COMFORT~Chapter 23~
So tell me, have you ever dared to dream big? To push yourself beyond the boundaries that you have shrunk back from so many times before? Perhaps you've convinced yourself you are about to write the next New York Times best seller?
Come to think about it, that dream did become a reality for Cecil Murphey. But as I've followed Cecil through this amazing book, it's obvious it started with a humble beginning. Let's see what Cecil has to say. He writes, "I had been publishing about ten years when I heard a dynamic speaker at a conference where I taught. He was riveting, and he spoke most of the time about our "comfort zone." At the time, it was a new phrase for me. "Push ahead! Move on! Take risks!" That's typical of his message. He told several delightful stories of the times he did exactly what he advocated and gave us the marvelous results--all success stories."
Cecil goes on to share that because he liked what the speaker said and found him inspiring, he bought his CD. He also wanted to push against the boundaries and restrictions of his own life. But after he heard the CD at home, a number of questions surfaced. He says, "The first one was simple: What happens if I step out of my comfort zone and fail? Had he ever failed? If so, how did it affect him? If he didn't fail, was he embracing risks or simply taking the next obvious step?"
I have to admit when I read the first paragraph of this chapter, I couldn't help but smile and wonder if I had not only heard the same speaker but had bought the same CD! Or should I say taken the bait, (just kidding). The "Dream Big" and go after your dream type of message has definitely been popular in both secular and christian conferences. And have you noticed that its usually the same two or three success stories told over and over? ..Just thought I'd ask.
Cecil writes, "As a writer, I've taken risks and some have succeeded; others haven't." He goes on the share the story of writing the book called 90 Minutes in Heaven. Although Cecil, and his agent, believed in the book, it didn't get published right away. In fact it was turned down from about a dozen publishers before it was finally sold to Revell, part of Baker Books. Since the writing of this book, 90 Minutes in Heaven has sold in excess of five million copies in English and has gone into forty-one translations. It has also been a New York Times best seller. That's a dream come true in my books!
"That's history," says Cecil, "but what about the risk factor? Had I really moved out of my comfort zone? According to that charismatic speaker, I hadn't."
Cecil goes on to write, "I could obviously argue this either way, but from my perspective, I stayed with the book because I believed in it. I trusted my instincts, and I've been wrong a few times. I didn't see it as risky, only as the way the publishing business operates."
Although the "Dream Big" and fight the forces of doubt until we prevailed was the advice of the charismatic speaker Cecil says its just not his style. He writes, "It may not be your style, either."
I would have to say "been there, done that". I've attended the go after your dreams type seminars, listened to the CDs and read and re-read some of the "how to ____", you can fill in the blank books. And with a sigh of relieve and recovery I can say it's not my style either!
Cecil says, "You hear or read intriguing information, get excited about projects or ideas, and you don't do anything about them. The tendency is to feel you've failed or you've procrastinated. Maybe"
I have found that you can easily feel like you're out of the loop if you're not participating with the latest or most popular trend, whether it's writing or other interests one may be involved in.
Cecil shares, "Perhaps it's your inner wisdom that pulls you back and refuses to let you participate." He goes on to say, "Start within your comfort zone and write from who you are. That's not all. I urge you to begin what I call an unrelenting search for your true self. As you learn about yourself, you expand your comfort zone. You take what some would call risks, but to you the so-called risk becomes the next right step."
He goes on to say, "If you're aware of yourself, your situation, and if you're connected to your inner motivation, do you need more? Do you need to push forward or march onward? Do you need to go on the attack? I don't, and I don't want to be a role model that says, "Do it my way." If I become a model for anyone, I want to be one who not only gives permission but urges others to do things their way."
All I can say is, anyone that encourages me as a writer to just be myself and write from my heart is an admirable model to me!
The Aphorism for the chapter is: "Moving out of my comfort zone is right when it's the next best step, or if it fits within my superior mode."
Aphorism #23: "Moving out of my comfort zone is
right when it's the next best step,
or if it fits within my superior mode."