Comfort or Safety?

“Moving your comfort zone when the safety zone changes isn’t easy, but it’s better than being a victim.”
– Seth Godin, from The Icarus Deception

This book has opened my eyes to so many ideas that were rattling around in my brain, but which I had not articulated. For so many years, my dad and people from his generation encouraged me to get a good education in order to secure a well-paying, secure, “safe” job and a comfortable lifestyle. So I did. It hasn’t worked. Godin explains why in his discussion of the demise of the industrial system and the rise of the connection system.
I have always been creative, a renegade, thinking and working outside the box. Some of my industrial-minded bosses didn’t know what to do with me and would, ultimately, find a reason or excuse to “let me go.” I’ve never been fired, but I always knew when it was time to walk.
The quote at the beginning of this post helped me to understand why my career path has been so tumultuous. The “safety zone” that Godin refers to is the status quo, the industrial system that has existed in our country for over a century. This is the system we are all trained for: sit down, shut up, do what you’re told (over and over and over and over…) do your job efficiently, make the company a lot of money, and retire in comfort.
But with the advent of the technological era, a new economy has emerged which Godin calls the connection system. We can connect with millions of people around the world with a few keystrokes. We can no longer rely on the J-O-B providing a good, safe lifestyle. The “safety zone” has changed! As a result, we need to adjust our comfort zone to match the NEW safety zone, an economy where, in order to thrive, we must think for ourselves, risk failure, and create our best work- for ourselves, not the boss- in order to be “safe” and to succeed.
I, for one, am tired of being a victim of the old industrial regime. I have followed the rules only to find myself barely making it from one paycheck to the next, unable to purchase a home, unable to reliably maintain health insurance coverage, unable to retire, unable to create wealth for myself and my family. I will be a victim no more! That is what this blog and the accompanying writing career development are about for me. In the next few years, I vow to make the leap to create my BEST work, and share it with everyone I can connect with. I know the world is waiting for my contribution and there are people out there who need what I know and can offer. Be patient; God isn’t finished with me yet! And with His help and blessings, I know that my “comfort zone” will align with the new “safety zone,” allowing me to share my best work with the world.