Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Comfort is the Enemy of Achievement

October 6, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

A Comfort Zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there. Feeling comfortable, content, and secure can be the first stage of failure. Generals lose wars because their enemy has studied their past battles and understands their combat tactics. The same is true in sports; coaches lose ballgames because their opponent has studied their tendencies. Companies go bankrupt because they didn’t change and stay current with consumer demands.

The belief – “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten,” is a fallacy in today’s ever-changing world. Those who succeed and remain on top are always pushing, stretching, and learning new things; they understand that if they don’t, they will soon be losing to someone or some organization who is stepping out of their Comfort Zone, striving to get better.

You can’t do the same things every day and improve. Great things never come to those who remain in their Comfort Zone. Thomas Jefferson wisely stated, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Albert Einstein put it in even simpler terms when he said, “If you want different results, do not do the same things.”

Zappos urged their employees to improve 1% each day. By doing so, they would become 37 times better by the end of the year. Here is the math that will back-up that statement.

If you start out with $100 at the beginning of the year
and you were able to increase what you have by
1% every single day, at the end of the year, you would have …
$3,778.34 = $100 * (1 + 1%) ^ 365.
That is 37.78x what you had at the beginning of the year.

I heard this once described as the “Aggregation of marginal gains.” To me, it is just small improvements every day. 1% per day may seem unreasonable to some people. Then pick your number, but whatever it is, do everything you can to achieve it. I am not asking you to take a GIANT LEAP of FAITH or take a HUGE STEP out of your Comfort Zone; just one tiny step, and then another and another … will do just fine.

So many people are locked in their Comfort Zone, afraid to venture out. If they would just realize that all winners were at one time filled with doubt, maybe it would make it easier to take that first step; in uncertainty lies all possibility. If you want to change your results, you have to change your actions.

What can you change today? What do you need to do differently? Ask yourself a simple question … “Is what I am doing taking me where I want to go,” because if it isn’t, then it’s time to do something different. Comfort Zones kill progress, growth, innovation and success. Remember, regardless if you fail or succeed, taking the chance will ALWAYS make you wiser.

I heard it once said, “You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward.” When is the last time you felt awkward trying something new? If you can’t remember, that is a problem.

Nothing Changes – If Nothing Changes

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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