At summer camps growing up, I grew the love of rock climbing and as a result when I turned 18, I got certified to become a rock climbing instructor. One of the first things they tell you is that you wont get killed in the beginning. You are too scared when you first start out rock climbing to be killed – so you double, and triple check your harness and safety equipment before climbing. I was told, the beginners are usually fine, and nothing happens to them, it’s after a few years, when you are great at your job, you become too comfortable with this potentially dangerous sport that you take risks or forget to check the equipment, and you make deadly mistakes. It’s the long-time professionals that get killed.
This is a principle that can be applied in different ways.
Most car accidents happen within 3km (1.4 miles) from home. Why? Because we are so familiar and comfortable with driving that last little bit home that we don’t pay the attention needed for the road.
There are countless stories of people/children drowning in a pool when there are many others around – because everyone assumes someone is watching. They trust a little too much that the swimming abilities of those in the pool are good enough and they don’t need to keep watch.
I know I have ruined a relationship by becoming too comfortable, thinking I could say or do whatever, not realizing I had overstepped my boundaries and caused offence.
Today I was too comfortable down a street I knew well that I believe has been assigned the wrong speed limit. I have never seen policemen there, and it’s the one street I speed down consistently – I abide by the law with every other part of my journey. Today – I was caught speeding down this street. Sure, it didn’t kill me but I definitely don’t have the money to pay the ticket.
I believe that unless you are on vacation and you are 100% safe (there are plenty of horrible vacation stories full of accidents or trusting the wrong people), it can pay off to stay uncomfortable.
The goal shouldn’t be “to be comfortable” the goal should be to be at peace with the uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable, keeps you safe.