Posted 12th November 2013 by Michal Stawicki & filed under Personal Development
Mindfulness, other woo-woo stuff and Comfort Zone Mechanism (CZM)
A bottle cap had fallen into the sink in my bathroom. Don’t ask how that was possible, it’s another long story. It stuck very deeply and occasionally caused clogging up. It stayed there for at least a couple of months, maybe even longer. And a few days ago I saw it. The water raised it up and it stuck on the metal gizmo inside the sink. I took a fork and started a battle to free the cap from the sink.
It was tricky. It was almost ideally the size of the pipe. It was greasy. I tried and tried, one time after another to force it free, without any effect. One time the cap almost slumped back into the sink pipe. It was a close call, I tell you!
I wanted to give up: “I can’t, it’s impossible, the pipe is too narrow…” – I’ve heard my own thoughts.
I’m a down-to-earth type of person. I always ridiculed the “thought over matter” ideas. However I have been studying the Law of Attraction and other such kind of “laws” for some time, since the cold rationalism didn’t provide me any useful hints on how to get what I want from life and from myself.
And there I had a prime example of thoughts influencing the matter. If I had listened to them the cap would not have been extracted. It was as simple as that.
I examined those thoughts very carefully.
Was it really impossible? How would I know? I had to try first to turn out if it’s possible or not.
“I can’t”? What did it come from? I wasn’t trying to climb Mount Everest. I struggled with a plastic cap inside the sink pipe. What a stupid thought to have in such circumstances!
And then suddenly dawned on me that I just found out the mechanism which allows my mind to stop me doing any uncomfortable action. The Comfort Zone Mechanism.
If it works so perfectly in such a small matter as plucking out the cap from the sink, then what chances have I for attempting to introduce some complex changes in my life?
Well, exactly the same chances I had for plucking out the cap.
I derided my CZM thoughts. I focused on the job at hand. I persevered. I manipulated the fork a little bit differently and removed the pesky cap from the pipe.
And that’s the way to cope with CZM.
Deride it. It’s easy; the thoughts generated by CZM are stupid. Excuses. Fears. Nothing solid. A cheap way to hoodwink yourself out of undesirable action. Don’t pay attention to them.
Focus on the job at hand. Do you know that you cannot think two thoughts simultaneously? So if you focus on the positive, on the solution, you literally cannot generate CZM thoughts.
Persevere. Do it until. Don’t give up. You will always find the way in the end.
The more I study the personal development and other stuff called “woo-woo” by rationalists – like the law of attraction – the more I see it’s not so woo-woo after all. Rationalists want to understand everything before they commit into action. But it’s also CZM. I don’t think there is a single person on earth who understands the whole human knowledge. So in the end you don’t really refer to your knowledge, but to your belief that this or that professor knows what he is saying. Ouch, a little woo-woo, don’t you think?
“That’s manipulation!” – I can hear rationalists crying – “They have the evidences to support their claims”.
Well, do you fully comprehend those evidences?
But, that’s the sophism. What do the rationalists want to say is that the effects judges the claims in the end.
Well, the effects of my attitude and mindfulness were that I fixed the roller-blind and removed the cap from the sink. Quite material evidence in my opinion.
The problem with a pure rationalism is that it’s slow. Yes we may know one day how the human brain works. In a one or two thousand years. But New Age followers are trying numerous ways to discover faster tracks to success. True, they fail more often than not. But check out how many experiments in the scientific laboratories fail before they get the meaningful results. Does that mean the science doesn’t work? Of course not!
I’m fascinated by the stories of ordinary folks who became the millionaires. Like Jim Rohn. Like Bob Proctor. Two very different guys, two stories, but they have one thing in common: they both attribute their success to the way of thinking, not some material factors. That makes me try even the woo-woo stuff.
Coming back to the CZM: do you know what is the trickiest part?
To realize that you have those thoughts. I did realize them fighting with the stubborn cap, because I have been focusing on my self-talk for several months already. Every morning I sit with pen and notepad, ask and answer myself some questions and write them down. I’ve been doing it since the end of May. I pray almost incessantly. And I’m starting to be conscious what’s going on inside my head.
You don’t have to be a believer to be mindful. Meditation will give you similar benefits as the prayer gives in the regard of mindfulness.
The Lift team discovered that meditation increases the personal efficiency (http://blog.lift.do/post/53886345468/habit-of-the-day-why-meditation-increases-your).
I don’t know 101 ways to develop your mindfulness, I found one or two things that work for me and I use them. I recommend the same path to you.
And make it your priority. Make it the primary focus in your life for the next week. Once you find what helps you being mindful, develop a daily discipline and never ever neglect it. Never!
Because if you don’t do that, your CZM will be robbing you from everything which look like a too much fuss for your subconscious mind. And you won’t achieve small and big things you would like to. You won’t fix a roller-bind, you won’t remove the cap from the sink, you won’t prepare for the exam, you won’t start a business, you won’t save for your retirement, you won’t stop smoking, you won’t persevere in your new workout regime, you won’t… I guess you get the point.
You will dissuade yourself from everything that is out of your comfort zone. And you will stay inside it forever.
Jim Rohn said that the real failure is not trying. So what would listen to the CZM make of you?
The comfort zone is the failure zone. I will use whatever means possible to get out of it. Even a woo-woo stuff. As long as it works, anyway.