This week on Episode 137 of Productivity Paradox I’m sitting down with the ever-inspirational, Chris Winfield. Known for his serial-entrepreneurship and as the co-founder of Super Connector Media, Chris remains one of the most influential individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. And part of this reason lies in his leading life with HOPE—also known as his concept of Helping One Person Every day.
While we dive into exactly what Chris means when he says that he absolutely does what he can to help at least one person each and every day on the episode this week, one major point of our conversation that I want to bring forward here today is what ultimately led Chris to make a major shift in his working and personal life so that he could make the big impact in his life and community that he is best known for now…
And that, my friends, is discomfort. In order for Chris to make the big changes that he felt were necessary in order to become the best version of himself—the self that he had always envisioned, he realized that he needed to move beyond the uncomfortable place that had been keeping him stagnant and leading a life he wasn’t too proud of (due to long hours at work that were keeping him feeling disconnected from his personal and family life, etc.), so that he could make the changes he needed in order to progress both personally and professionally.
What far too many of us do not always realize is that discomfort can keep us situated in a place that isn’t always healthy—just as much as the tried and true “comfort zone” can.
Discomfort can still be connected to routines that keep us tied to a job that we aren’t in love with, and it can be the one constant that tells us not to stray—even when, deep down, we feel that taking a step away is what we need most in order to turn our life around for the better.
So, keeping all of that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at exactly how we can take a cue from Chris by exploring some of the ways that we too can push through being uncomfortable so that we can then make the changes we need to make in our career (and everywhere in-between) in order to find happiness, healthiness, and success that we desire.
Let’s get started!
One thing to remember about discomfort as it relates to a routine that you aren’t in love with is that it can become like a drumbeat inside of your head, keeping you in rhythm but with little room for creativity or for you to tap into your sensitivities (which is important for life, and therefore your work, to be both interesting and satisfying to pave the way for happiness).
When we’re in this place of routine and discomfort, it becomes more and more difficult to make sound decisions that are in tune with who we truly are (and who we want to become) at our core.
What this essentially comes down to is the need to clear your head.
Now, this could mean that you set yourself up with a grounding meditation practice so you can tap into what it is that you truly want to do; it could mean that you open yourself up for a few hard discussions with a trusted friend or family member so that you can get your creative juices flowing whilst airing your frustrations with your current position; or it could be as simple as allowing yourself some time to tap into other activities—outside of work—that you love: reading books, listening to uplifting music, spending more time in nature, and so on.
A great question to ask yourself is, where is all of my frustration and discomfort coming from? Is it due to working long hours that keep you out of touch with your family and loved ones? Is it because your job is no longer in tune with what you’re most passionate about? Is it because things have become too familiar?
The list could go on depending on what your position is, but the main takeaway here is that, in order to push beyond that place of discomfort and set yourself up to make an impactful change on the trajectory of your professional and personal life, you need to figure out where the discomfort is coming from—that is, to really tap into the source—and allow yourself the opportunity to face it head-on.
Once you’ve tapped into the source of the problem, what can you do to move beyond it for the greater good? In other words, what might your new and improved profession look like if you had the chance to define it for yourself?
While Chris mentions on the episode that, at first, he had no clear direction in mind when he first set out to make the changes needed to bring about the most (positive) impact on his life—allowing himself plenty of time to reflect on what wasn’t working for him was key to his transition.
So, even if you don’t really know where to begin in terms of your ideal job, taking some time to reflect on the things that you don’t want can make all the difference.
And, hey—helping one person every day is another great way to cultivate some happiness for yourself in the meantime! Give it a try!
This one hits home for me in many ways. One of the most influential things that Chris and I spoke of when we first met is this idea of selfishness.
For the sake of recapping our conversation this week, I’ll keep it brief—because the message is pretty simple and is one that I think resonates on so many levels:
When you do not allow yourself the grace to chase down your dreams and to share your talents, hard work, and efforts with your community—with the world, rather—you’re allowing yourself to be selfish.
Think about it! If your talents will help others in your community in some way, why wouldn’t you do everything you can to share them?
Not giving yourself the opportunity to be the best that you can be—whether it’s out of fear, hesitation, or something else—is just plain selfish.
So, give yourself the chance to shine! Trust me, once you get over the first hurdle that is taking that first step beyond discomfort, you’ll be glad you did.
How have you risen above being uncomfortable for the greater good in your life, whether at home or at work? Tell me a little bit about your experience—what worked well for you and what didn’t—in the comments below…