Working Outside Your Comfort Zone

I’ve mentioned in a recent article that I’m a 90’s kid. This means that I grew up when the computer revolution was really hitting it’s peak. I can remember back to my early days with things like five inch floppy disks and big, heavy CRT monitors. My favorite games were Doom and Heretic and Master of Magic. It was a different time and things worked very differently back then.

The reason this is important for the purposes of this article is that over the years I’ve become very accustomed to certain ways of doing things. My career since leaving military service has been primarily administrative in nature, utilizing the skills I gained through the years growing up with computers. I did quite a lot of typing in chat rooms in my younger days and that gave me the ability to type more than 90 words per minute on a traditional keyboard.

I remember when the first iPhone came out and how excited I was for a device that didn’t require any accessories to control. Simply touch the screen and get started. It was revolutionary for the time and I can remember the lines of people clamoring to get the first of them. My life changed the day I got my first smart phone.

Still, one of the things that didn’t really appeal to me about touch screen phones was typing. I just could never get anywhere near as fast on my phone as I could on my PC. Part of it was the inefficient nature of keyboards at the time, but mostly it was just that I was already set in my ways using hardware for typing. Things got much better when Swype came out not all that long ago, but for a while I really didn’t like typing on the phone.

Even with new technologies like Swype, I tend to avoid using my phone for anything text related. It just feels so cumbersome. I’m used to being able to type without looking at my hands and just watching the screen for errors, most of which I can feel long before my eyes notice. It’s all just muscle memory at this point.

However, sometimes you just need to get over your discomfort to get things done, and this article is a perfect example. The one time I have today to write for my blog is a time where I don’t have access to a traditional keyboard. This entire article has been written on my phone using the touch screen keyboard. I’ve had to step outside my comfort zone to get done what needs to be done.

There are many things in life that require that we set aside our personal preferences in the name of getting things done. Some of them are small like typing on a phone, while others are huge issues that require massive leaps of faith and courage. Regardless of what it is, being willing to grow outside of the little boxes that define us is a critical part of developing as human beings. Never be afraid to do something different, because the worst that can happen is you fail and learn. No one can really ask for more than that.

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