5 Things we can learn from the Lion King pt-2 : Your comfort zone is your enemy

I hope you enjoyed part 1 : Your past is past.

Flashback

In the first part of this series, we discussed how our past is past and we are each and every one of us, called to face it. In the words of Timon “you have to put your past behind you”.



We discussed that putting our past behind was not to ignore it but to face it and stand tall before it and say : you have no power over me.
We cannot and should not forget our past. Whether good or bad, it is a part of the storytelling of our lives and I don’t know about you but on the planet where I live, there are some stories that end with “living happily ever after” but I don’t any story that is void of negative experiences such as pain or hurt.
it’s part of life, embrace it.

The past can be painful but we have to overcome it and deny to past events, the power to impact, alter and shape current and future events.

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Do not underestimate the destructive power of the past. Events that have occurred 10 years ago can have such a stronghold on a person today and paralyze their chances of any success in the future, making them victims of something immaterial and intangible. It’s very crucial to overcome it to live a successful life.

Let’s get back to the second thing we want to discuss today: your comfort zone is your enemy.

In the tale of the Lion King, I think both the reader and the writer agree that Simba’s enemy is the evil dark maned uncle Scar, whose name might suggest that he never healed from the scars of his past…
Scar is responsible for Mufasa’s death, betraying the innocent trust of his nephew, making his way to the throne and treating Simba’s family with very little dignitiy.
There is no doubt that if Simba has one enemy, you would concur with me that Scar would be his name. And perhaps you are right.

What if I told you that there is another enemy, far more dangerous than scar? An enemy that pretends to be a friend and a safety zone but silently sucks the life out of you and ensures that you never become anything more than the shadow of what you are meant to be. It paralyzes your potential and prevents you from truly becoming who you ought to be. This enemy is your comfort zone.

Scar never stopped Simba from fighting for the throne.
Scar never told simba that life was good and void of worries.
Scar never told simba he could never become King.
Scar never stopped Simba from going back to Pride Rock.
Who did? Simba’s comfort zone, an enemy far more dangerous than Scar.

By, embracing the Hakuna Matata philosophy, Simba got comfortable in a life that meant “no worries, for the rest of his days. A problem-free, philosophy” which is an utopia, for we know that real life does not resemble nor adhere to this philosophy.

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The comfort zone is so comfortable, to state the obvious. It is a place where we do not have to face our fears, our past, and for that matter we gamble on the future. We love this place. To the musician it is the key he’s comfortable with. To the baby, it is the warm bosom of mother. It is the security of the nest to the bird and to the traveler, it is the relaxing feeling of watching the sunset from a hammock,

There are lots of problems in this comfort zone. I have identified two major issues and I believe all others can be categorized in either one.

The unknown

Simba, no doubt, had a lot of questions. Was his mom alive? What had become of Nala? Has Scar turned Pride Rock into a dictatorship regime? Will he ever become king? Did Zazu get married (ok not that far).
All these questions can be answered. Simba knows what it would take to get the answers : leave the comfort zone.
As long as we stay in the comfort zone, we will  bathe in a sea of questions and live under clouds of uncertainty. We will never know what we can achieve, we will never have answers to a lot of questions, we will deprive ourselves from exceptionally rewarding experiences.

The only thing that is certain about the comfort zone is uncertainty. -JP

The little chick living in the shell of an egg knows nothing about the world outside. All he knows is his comfort zone, surrounded by familiar barriers that limit his horizon and sight. If he stays in his shell, he will never experience the sun, never bond with his siblings and family, never experience dust on his feet, or the texture and taste of a worm.
By staying in the comfort zone, we are making a very dumbfounding statement : This is all I ever want to know and experience in life. 
I hope you can see the fatality of this.

Mother nature will not allow the chick to stay in its shell, neither should you allow yourself to stay there. This should be enough to make one realize that staying in the comfort zone is unnatural. That’s why there is no growth there, which brings us to our second problem.

Zero Growth

Not growing is an unnatural phenomena just as unnatural as staying in the comfort zone, as previous stated.
In Simba, there was potential to be a father. There was potential to be King of Pride rock. There was potential to grow in wisdom by experiencing things in life. There was potential to be courageous, overcome fear. There was potential to conquer evil, lead and unite the people.
All this potential laid dormant within him.
The comfort zone has the smooth voice of a mother singing a bed time lullaby to a restless baby until it sinks in the deepest sleep. The comfort zone sings to us and makes sure the potential within us remains dormant, prisoner of a false perception of security and peace.

I say false indeed because the irony is that the comfort zone is created out of fear.

In each one of us there is potential to become. This potential can only be realized by leaving the comfort zone and getting into our stretch zone, also known as the optimal performance zone.
By stretching, we grow stronger and become more flexible.
We experience new things, we learn how to cope with them, we ultimately grow and the potential that was once within, very soon begins to outwardly show.

To conclude on this second part of this series, I invite you meditate on this quote :

Complacency is the enemy of progress. – Dave Stutman

If you enjoyed this, please share.

you can also find this series in a storytelling format on Medium.

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