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Khloe Belle’s Life Lesson #879 – Base

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It always bring me joy to see my granddaughter Khloe interact in a loving, uninhibited way with kids she meets during our playground expeditions. She’s quick to make friends. That's a skill we could all use in our lives.

On one particular day, the only playmates in the playground were boys. When they invited her to play tag, she responded with an impulsive yes.

Off they went, darting among the labyrinth of playground equipment, screeching and giggling in between mad dashes. Then came the time for one of the bigger kids to be ‘it’.

The other kids who knew him became apprehensive.

The boys sat at the bench near the fence (designated as base) for a while, in the comfort of their invisible safety net. Khloe joined them. She didn’t know them, nor was she well-informed about the older boy's skill, but she definitely picked up on their reluctance.

I walked over to check in on them. Here's a rough transcript of our conversation:

Me: “Are you tired?”

Khloe: “No, this is base.”

Me: “Why are you just sitting there?”

Playmate: “Well that kid is ‘it’ and he’s really fast.”

Me: “So what’s the point of playing tag if you’re going to be sitting at base the whole time? That’s just boring.”

They glanced around at each other and suddenly ran off, splitting in different directions. It was either a case of every man for himself or divide and conquer. I've still not figured that one out.

It dawned on me later that the sooner they were tagged, the sooner someone else would be it. Then that perceived threat of the proficient tag-er would be extinguished. They would get it over with and dive in because fun was on the other side of their fear.

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In life, I meet so many people who play it safe. That bench where the kids sat was a literalversion of the more abstract comfort zone I'm always talking about. Granted, the bench provided the illusion of safety and comfort, but it kept them from having fun.

What's the fun in that?

If you've ever escaped even one small portion of your comfort zone, you know that life inside of it isn't worth living. Just like Socrates' "unexamined life," there is no joy in staying on the sidelines.

The moment that you hop off that bench, you discover your capabilities and potential. The moment that you dare to venture beyond the comfort, life opens up to you.

Outside of the comfort zone, you’re happier. It comes through in your exhilaration and your desire to take risks and accept opportunities. The rewards are abundant and energizing. You find new flexibility as you stretch beyond your self-imposed boundaries.

On the other side, people often ask themselves, why didn't I do this sooner?

Here's a tip: don't beat yourself up about it – the timing is always perfect.

Don't mistake "perfect timing" for an invitation to stall. It's an invitation forgive yourself for holding your life up in the past.

There's no point in mourning lost time after your eureka moment -- get to work!

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Like these kids, many of my clients discover that playing it safe is no fun. There’s vulnerability in walking out of that comfort zone, but trust me: life is beautiful beyond the boundaries.

A comfort zone is where all dreams go to die. It is a graveyard of potential and hope. It is where lack, mediocrity and low expectations thrive. No life worth living can be lived within the confines of your comfort zone. – Berta Medina-Garcia

Now go out and PLAY!

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