Don’t Live In Your Pajamas

I am writing this as I whiz through Germany on a high speed train watching the lovely scenery while I type. It’s a skill I learned as a kids doing data entry and it comes in handy when I want to type while enjoying the countryside view.

Why do I tell you this, other than bragging that I have fun job? It’s because I have come a long way, baby, from the hick Midwest kid I grew up as. Some will still tell you I am hick and I am OK with that.

Why do I tell you this, other than to knock off any images of my being a jet setter? It’s because I got here by constantly stretching outside my comfort zone.

Sitting in your comfort zone is like staying in your pajamas all day, you won’t get asked to dance and passed a glass of Champagne unless your spouse has a great sense of humor and romance.

If you are not getting butterflies on a regular basis about something you are challenged to do, then you are not likely growing. If you are not having to Google how to get something done, from how to dial internationally to how to locate the highest zip line launching point in the state, then your Internet access may need to be taken away because you are just not trying hard enough. If you are not forced to seek experts, mentors, and an occasional masseuse then your mountain may not be steep enough to be worth climbing.

I learned how to sell software and hire people internationally. I started and sold a business. I hired and fired people far smarter than me. The first (and sometimes second and third) time I had done these things they were not totally comfortable. None of them were easy and even repeatedly executing them didn’t make them comfortable.

And that is what gives me a buzz.

When I come up with an idea the negotiating attorney never even thought of, I fist pump during the conference call. When I figured out the European train system without speaking the languages, I smiled really big and I can still remember those early trips and sense of accomplishments.

What are you scared of? Maybe you should go right now and tackle that activity. Don’t live your life in your ‘pajamas’. That’s too comfortable and even Hugh dons a suit regularly.

International note: If you don’t have your passport (then I would bet $500.00 you are an American) and you MUST go right now to Travel.State.Gov, fill out the form and get it done. No worries – you have bigger concerns then finishing this blog if you don’t have your passport yet.  Ditch me and get on with the important stuff.  Get the passport and start planning that international trip. You have a comfort zone you really need to step out of!

About the Author

Lois Melbourne

Lois Melbourne, GPHR, is co-founder and former CEO of Aquire Solutions, mom to one terrific young son and wife of co-founder Ross Melbourne. After entering a bit of a sabbatical life phase, she is authoring a series of children's books about career ambitions. She maintains a strong personal commitment to career education and small business development and is a speaker, author of industry articles, and an occasional blogger and networker. Connect with her on Twitter as @loismelbourne.


Nisha Raghavan

Inspiring post, to stretch outside of comfort zone, try out the hardest things so as make the mountain steep enough to climb. This will ultimately gives us the strength to try, willingness to fail and a ability to succeed.

Lori Jablons

Lois, this is an excellent post. Deciding to do the things that scare you is the most fulfilling way to cruise through life. Would write more, but I gotta get on the passport thing. 🙂


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