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Students learning on a computer in the library
Get Into the Learning Zone

When we have a regular routine, generally we humans are creatures of habit. We get comfortable. Depending on your perspective, you could describe this condition as “a comfortable groove.”


Or it could easily be described as a “rut.”


An easy groove allows us the freedom to think and live in a more creative realm; on a higher plane of thought if you will. The mundane tasks and chores of daily living can be done almost on autopilot – so that our minds can wander off, contemplating, planning, dreaming. It allows us to enter a joyous kind of reverie that can produce amazing inspiration.


One example that most people can relate to is the analogy of driving a car.


If you know how to drive and have been driving a long time, you may forget what it was like when you you first learned how to drive. In those early days, all of your concentration was needed to keep the car on the road – and to keep you (and others) safe.


There was so much to think about! At the same time you had to be aware of what your hands were doing, while thinking about your feet on the pedals.


Then there were your eyes and ears being alert, aware of the steering wheel, where your bumpers were, etc.


It took concentration to feel how much brake or accelerator to apply. Don’t forget to watch the mirrors, your speed, the distance between cars, etc. Oh! and keep an eye out for obstacles, traffic, traffic lights and signs and pedestrians….


Plus, more!


Anyone driving for the first time experiences an intense effort. It is an exercise in focus and attention.


But after you’ve been driving awhile, almost all of that goes (virtually) on autopilot. Driving a car doesn’t take nearly as much attention. Our mental energy and focus can then turn to other thoughts, and even some tasks – as long as we remember that we’re driving a car!


Hopefully, you get the point. In life we have a wonderful capacity to put many of our routines on autopilot, freeing up our minds and hearts to be more creative and productive.


But then, often without warning, life swerves – like a cat or a ball that suddenly darts out in front of our car. And we better be ready to react to keep ourselves and others safe.


These are the life circumstances that we all experience – either we have or it’s virtually guaranteed that we will:


Death, divorce, job loss, health challenge, loss of a friend, forced relocation, accident, sudden windfall of money, unexpected event like a pregnancy, or job promotion or “love at first sight” when we meet someone who changes our life.


Pilots on an airplane know that autopilot works great until an unexpected event occurs. Then they better be ready to take the helm and they better know what they’re doing.


In Prosperity Now! A 12-Week Journey to the Life of Your Dreams I talk about the way life (God, the Universe, Fate) conspires to bring us to our highest and best good, sometimes in ways that (at first glance) are quite unwelcome. We are going along at cruising altitude, minding our own business, happy and unconcerned about anything, when life’s turbulence hits “out of the blue.”


This I call our “comfort zone.” The comfort zone is wonderful, so easy and chill. But….


We cannot stay in our comfort zone forever. We must voluntarily do things that stretch us out of our comfort zone, and into what I call “the learning zone.”


The learning zone is the place that is uncomfortable and foreign to us. We are unsure, unstable, a bit lost and perhaps a bit anxious – even a little fearful.


Too anxious or too afraid and we are not in the learning zone anymore. We have crossed over into the “panic zone.” And this is not good! If you find yourself out on a limb and beginning to panic, gently pull back until you feel safe again. Noticing when we are in the panic zone is vital so that we don’t say or do anything out of fear, which almost never works out well for us or anyone else.


Knowing these three states of being, we can consciously choose and adjust to create the “life of our dreams.” Being in the comfort zone is nice, but we almost never learn anything in the comfort zone. And we definitely don’t learn anything in the panic zone!


All of Chapter 4 is dedicated to this idea of Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone. In it I write:


We do not learn anything in either the comfort or the panic zones. Also, it is better to leave the comfort zone willingly and on purpose to venture into the learning zone, where we can remain safely for a while, exploring, stretching, and testing our minds and hearts, our ideas and beliefs. Then, return to the comfort zone for rest and rejuvenation.


The miracle is that doing this consciously expands our comfort zone. A larger comfort zone gives us more room, more space, more light, and more freedom—in our minds and in our lives.


Aware of this process, we will see that things that used to be in our learning zone are now safely in our comfort zone – and we need to stretch some more.


Even things that at one time were in the panic zone shift and we find that they are now in the learning zone.


If you want to live a full, expansive life complete with wonder, joy, purpose, prosperity and abundance, you will give yourself the gift of stretching out of your comfort zone, mindfully and on purpose, so that you can inhabit a larger world, full of possibilities, magic, mystery and miracles.


Life happens, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Instead, it can happen through you, with you, and for you!


Here’s to your joyous growth in prosperity and abundance!




I am available to do private tours of Paris, based on my book, Paris Histories and Mysteries.

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