Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go – T.S. Elliot
I’ve got a question for you. When was the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and took up something that was really challenging? By the way, getting up from your couch to raid the refrigerator while watching a soap doesn’t qualify.
Have you ever pushed yourself beyond what you thought were your limits – either physically or mentally?
At this point, some people will be thinking, “Are you crazy? Why should I do such a thing? I am happy the way I am.”
Well, let me first tell you why you absolutely should stretch your limits and take up challenges – at least one every year.
After I convince you (I am hoping that I can), I will tell you about the challenge that I am taking up in May this year.
Modern societies, especially the developed world, put a lot of focus on developing security and creating comfort. While these are important to improve the quality of your life, they also have a hidden side effect – one that lulls people into a sense of complacency. We tend to take everything – including our health – for granted. We are content to live a life in which everything is well organized and within our immediate reach. We don’t feel the need to push ourselves.
Now, it’s up to you – do you want to realize your true potential – lead a life full of action, drama and achievements? Or, do you want to spend your life as a couch potato?
Here are some of the reasons why you should take up a challenge (at least once a year):
1. You will never know what you are capable of, until you try something new:
Sure, it may seem very comfortable, following the same routine, day in and day out. But unless you challenge yourself to push your limits, you will never know your true potential. So if there is anything that you always wanted to take up, but were afraid to try, now’s a good time to start.
2. Every challenge will help you grow as an individual:
To grow and reach your full potential, you need to stretch your boundaries and push through your limiting beliefs. Each time you attempt something outside your comfort zone, your knowledge and your skills grow exponentially.
3. Overcoming challenges helps improve your confidence and self-esteem:
When you overcome a challenge, your self-confidence will increase. You will realize that you are capable of much more. This will lead to higher levels of self-esteem and a stronger self-image.
4. You will experience an increase in motivation:
Succeeding in one challenge leads to higher levels of motivation. You will be inspired to constantly push forward and to take up new challenges.
5. Each new challenge brings with it exciting new experiences that keep you engaged and focused:
Coming out of your comfort zone helps improve your level of engagement with the world around you.
6. Challenging yourself prepares you to deal effectively with life’s unexpected challenges:
The training you do when you take up a new challenge makes you more resourceful and will equip you to handle life’s unexpected and challenging events.
Remember, you make the most progress in life when you challenge yourself to do stuff that you are scared of.
If you take up a challenge that involves physical activities, you also get a number of additional benefits including stronger immunity, increase in physical strength, significant reduction in mental stress and much better hand-eye coordination.
Now that you know about the benefits of taking up a challenge, let me tell you the challenge I have set myself for this year.
I am going to take up the 3 peak challenge. This involves climbing three of the highest mountains in the United Kingdom – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scaffel pike in England and Snowdon in Wales – all in short window of 24 hours. I will be taking this up in May this year.
This is a tough event and you need to be very fit physically to take this up. The preparation calls for thorough planning and a disciplined approach. You also need to be prepared to go without sleep.
To train for the event, I am following a strict fitness plan to prepare myself both physically and mentally for the tough challenge ahead. I will keep you posted on the progress here on my blog.