July 14th, 2017

I'm Afraid of Comfort

byMich Manaras
Blog

In order for a muscle to grow, it first has to be put under tremendous stress. Only after being given the proper time to heal can it emerge as a more powerful version of its former self.

Why am I talking about muscles? I use this analogy to remind myself of why it’s so important to constantly put myself in situations conducive to personal growth; situations where I might fail.

I actually learnt this by mistake. (pun intended!)

After being fed up with the consistent mediocrity of my liquid courage fuelled twenties, I decided it was time to bite off more than I could chew to see what I could really accomplish; so I quit drinking, got healthy and dedicated all of my energy to reinventing the family business.

And so this is the part where I tell you all my discipline, hard work and dedication led me to massive success…

…Wrong!

What happened in the two years following that very decision was the most turbulent and chaotic period of my life. After a few small victories, my ego had risen to such a level I thought I could realistically put a company through 20 years of evolution in only 2. What ended up happening was I almost destroyed the very company I was trying to fix.

So what’s the moral here? If your father passes away and leaves you, a 25 year old, the family business, one that’s doing pretty well, don’t rock the boat too much?

Maybe from an outsider’s perspective, but I don’t agree.

If I didn’t actively choose clean my act up, I never would’ve put myself in such a position. I never would’ve learned that no matter how good an idea is, without the whole team behind it, it won’t turn out so great.

That’s when I figured out my ideas challenged too many people’s comfort zones, and the only thing that brought me joy was pushing the envelope. Unfortunately it was met with opposing views because I unknowingly threatened their security; it didn’t help I was being quite the arrogant prick.

Long story short, what ended up happening was I took on way more than I had anticipated; facing major failure gave me no choice but to find a way to survive, even if it was just barely. But it rewarded me with a newfound perspective, one that showed me where my efforts would be best directed.

Those experiences showed me my ideas weren’t wrong, only too aggressive in their approach; the family business probably wasn’t the best outlet for my creativity. I learned that if I wanted to move at 1000 mph, I’d have to do it on my own.

The point is I learnt valuable life lessons, none of which would’ve been possible if I’d played it safe and remained in a state of comfort.

It’s why I created this blog, to share my experiences. And why I’m pursuing my music; a dream I let go of when I was 25.

Once again I’m putting myself in an underdog position, starting a blog and a music career at 30 isn’t quite textbook safety, but those kind of odds keep me on my toes. But I’m using what I learned, I’m not counting on anyone but myself this time; let’s see how it goes!

Was it risky taking the path I chose, and would I do it differently if I could? I honestly think the biggest risk would be if I never took the risk; I don’t want to ever look back and ask “what if?”.

Like the analogy at the beginning of this blog, a muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. Using that same logic, if the muscle isn’t put through enough of a struggle, it’ll never have the opportunity to grow.

Being impulsive, impatient, hyper, arrogant, naive, whatever… has allowed me to ungracefully learn hard lessons; lessons which have completely changed me. My lack of finesse has allowed me to bulldoze through situation after situation and although things get messy sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’m no longer as impulsive, or impatient or all of the other things I mentioned… (only a little!) I’ve learned to ask for help where I now see I could have previously. I understand people a lot more and how imposing my views on them is not a good thing. I share my truths in hopes of resonating on some level, because I want to challenge my thoughts.

All I know is if I stayed in that cozy office chair I’d still be that arrogant prick, frozen in time. I’m so grateful because I never could’ve imagined an innocent enough idea like temporarily sobering up to accomplish a few efficiency implementations at work would create a butterfly effect that would completely change the course of my life.

I welcome whatever gets thrown in my direction and willingly stand in the line of fire, because I know I’ll be stronger for it, what if I never did any of this stuff? That’s a scary thought.

I’m afraid of comfort, because now I know it’ll prevent me from growing. 

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