Working Outside Your Comfort Zone

Is being silly outside your comfort zone?

Is being silly outside your comfort zone?

We tend to limit ourselves. Yes, I am speaking for all of humanity. I am qualified and obligated to do so. (Just kidding, but I’m going to do so anyway.)

One of my favorite quotes from Robert Frost is the “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  Life does present us with paths from an early age and we unknowingly decide the course too soon. Who knows what passions we will have as we mature? yet at a tender age we are expected to select a path. Deviating from that path is frowned upon.

One of my favorite stories to tell is when I decided to leave the steel mill. I had arrived at the mill through a series of random events and passion certainly didn’t have anything to do with it. Answering an advertisement, as many people seeking employment do. Not thinking “Is this job a good match for me?” but rather thinking, “can I do this job?” But I digress.

After spending fourteen years at the steel mill I decided to move on. I needed to write and I felt the steel mill was allowing me to keep writing as a hobby rather than a career. I went in to my boss and said I was giving my two weeks notice. He asked what my plans were and I told him I was quitting to finish my first book and to pursue my writing. He had a puzzled look on his face and said, “Rob, are you sure you know what you are doing?” and I replied, “No.” A simple response. I was jumping off a cliff. Leaving security behind. But I did finish that book and went on to write a few more… (you can buy any of them here. Look around and click.. )

But my comfort zone needs to be disturbed again. I have written novels, screenplays and audio dramedy.  Now I embark on the journey of my first musical for the stage. It’s an idea I’ve had for a while, but I never have pursued it. Now is the time. I am writing and am working with an accomplished musician to make it come to life.

It’s scary. I’ll admit it, but I am in a great place for it right now. The audio show (It’s about time travel agency) has wrapped after a great two year run. And now my time is again all my own. But not unlimited time. We all have only so many hours/days/years and you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so I have limited myself… or challenged myself to finish this in six months to a year.

I urge anyone to do the same. Think about your passion. Align a project. Give yourself a deadline.  “There is no day but today” to quote another musical, so …Go! Do! Create!

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