ChatGPT tells me the answer.
My calendar pings me with where I need to be.
Google Maps directs me where to go.
Spotify says what I should listen to along the way.
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate inconveniences being removed from my life and streamlined to ensure my daily success.
But at the same time—is it really helping
Automation And Autoresponses
Recently, one of my friends asked me, “Why did you switch what you were doing, and start working on Nobody Studios? You were on a rewarding, lucrative and successful path.”
For me it was obvious. I had fallen into Autopilot.
I had automated myself and my responses.
I needed to take back control of my journey. So I did.
Being uncomfortable, doing hard things that you end up not enjoying, being afraid and taking risks—these are the ways that we learn who we are and who we are not.
Experiments, progress and failures are essential to the development of our identity.
We argue that having outstanding advice from AIs and Apps in our hands makes us more confident, less fearful, more prepared for the unknowable—but are they?
What if the AIs and Apps are eroding us? What if they are keeping us from discovering more, or making us simply stick to their next best action?
Active Uncomfortable Experiences
When we take the risks away, we take away the learning opportunities.
When we remove the work for difficult answers, we only address easy questions.
We stay rigid and do what we know in a world that demands flexibility.
We develop a constant need for certainty when facing uncertainty has always been a fact of life.
Everything new I’ve done has helped me learn, unlearn and relearn.
Every struggle has made me stronger—as tough as I found it at the time.
Whatever your experience, it likely pushed you to face new challenges and learn new skills.
Perhaps you discovered hidden strengths or developed greater resilience and adaptability.
You might have even gained a new perspective on the world and your place in it.
While the world is celebrating how easy everything is becoming with artificial intelligence, I’d encourage you to actively look for uncomfortable experiences instead.
For example, maybe you decide as I did to take a new job in a different domain, try a new hobby, or travel to a new country where you don’t speak the language.
Maybe you do that course you alway said you would, or ask that person for a meeting to tell them your idea… whatever it is I’d encourage you…
Seek out experiences that give you a sense of unease, nervousness, or even fear. Because facing such moments are going to make you better, clearer and much more ready for the road ahead than an automation telling you the answer.
Responsiveness As A Prompt
Experiences that take us out of our comfort zone, challenge our assumptions or beliefs, or push us to confront our fears and limitations matter.
We can never be ready for everything. But we can learn how to respond to anything.
Being responsive can involve a range of behaviors, such as listening actively, providing feedback, making decisions quickly, taking a fresh course of action, and adapting to change.
Responsiveness can be particularly important in emergency situations or in high-pressure work environments—like building startups!
Here’s some ways I try to prompt better responsiveness to uncertainty, and make sure I don’t get stuck in autopilot;
Intentional discomfort: One strategy for extending your comfort zone is to intentionally seek out uncomfortable experiences on a regular basis. This could mean trying a new food, engaging in public speaking, or taking a cold shower. Before ice-baths became all the rage, one of my friends said he was going to take a cold shower for one day to see if the benefits were real. One day turned into two, then three. Today, his steak is over 1,000 cold showers—and no colds to speak of. By intentionally exposing yourself to discomfort, you can build up your resilience and learn to tolerate challenging situations more effectively.
Collaborative discomfort: Another way to extend your comfort zone is to seek out uncomfortable experiences with others. This could mean joining a group fitness class, taking a language class, or attending a networking event. By sharing the discomfort with others, you can build social connections and support, which can make the experience more manageable and enjoyable. This is one of the main reasons I seek out great mastermind groups or high performance people to work with. When the bar keeps getting raised, you’re challenged to keep up with the standard. We rise together, by challenging ourselves together.
Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy is a common treatment approach for anxiety disorders, but it can also be a helpful strategy for extending your comfort zone. The idea is to gradually expose yourself to situations that make you anxious or uncomfortable in a safe and controlled environment. Over time, your brain learns to associate these situations with safety rather than danger, and you become more comfortable with them. Yes, that’s you signing up to do that speaking engagement on Ovationz.comfor an 8-minute talk to change the world. I know you have one in you!
Voluntary challenges: Setting yourself voluntary challenges can also be a way to extend your comfort zone. This could mean signing up for a challenging race or competition, committing to a month-long writing challenge, or learning a new skill. By setting yourself a specific goal and committing to it, you can push yourself to work harder and achieve things you never thought possible.
For me, starting the venture studio, raising capital both from angels and 905 people in 55 different countries through equity crowdfunding. This was a huge challenge, and it took me outside of my comfort zone. Looking back on this experience, I realize how much I’ve grown and learned along the way. We brought a whole load of new people into the venture world, expanding our network and creating new opportunities for growth and innovation.
I won’t lie—everything that I hadn’t done before felt hard. But the sense of accomplishment that came with finishing each task was incredibly rewarding.
Mindfulness and meditation: Finally, mindfulness and meditation practices can be helpful for extending your comfort zone by increasing your awareness of your thoughts and feelings. By learning to observe and accept uncomfortable emotions and sensations without judgment, you can build your capacity to tolerate discomfort and stay present in the moment. This can help you navigate uncomfortable situations with greater ease and confidence.
Favor Real Experiences Not Artificial
Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with problem—and breakthrough.
You’re not stressed because you’re doing too much. It’s because you’re doing too little of what makes you feel most alive.
The lesson will keep repeating itself until you learn it.
Welcome all experiences.
You never know which one will turn everything on.