Our comfort zone is a mental operating system package of thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, ideas and fears that has been passed down the generations almost intact. We download this package from our parents, caregivers and others with whom we come into contact in our early impressionable years. We are also advised against questioning or changing any of these. Whatever change we individually make is usually cosmetic and the deep underlying thoughts and beliefs remain mostly unchanged throughout our lives. As our comfort zone is downloaded very early from persons whom we implicitly trust, we live our entire lives acting under its influence without even being aware of doing so.
Our comfort zone package comes preloaded with viruses and malicious apps that have adverse effects on us. The pleasure chasing virus sends us running after experiences we deem to be pleasurable for us. We also attempt to hold on to these experiences as long as possible and keep coming back to them as much as possible. The waiting-to-be-happy virus constantly prevents us from feeling happiness by pointing out to any lack that maybe present in our lives. I will be happy, I tell myself, as soon as I earn a million or meet the love of my life! Both the viruses hijack our entire focus and processing bandwidth for frivolous pursuits.
There are two malicious apps installed in our comfort zone operating system. The victim app is fired when we perceive a power disadvantage in our interpersonal interactions. We use this app to shift blame on to others for our problems and display impotent anger and resentment towards other people and our life circumstances. The victor app comes into play when we perceive a power advantage over others. We try to control and manipulate others for our sole benefit.
When we are acting under the influence of our comfort zone, which is practically all the time, we interpret circumstances, situations and other people’s behaviours according to our own prejudices and false expectations. Thus, we lose touch with what is actually happening out there. Acting blindly in this manner is akin to being imprisoned in our own comfort zone.
When we hide in our comfort zone and act out our prejudices in the real world, we end up facing opposition on all sides. If we continue unmindful of this, we find ourselves stuck in a rut. This condition is very familiar to almost all of us. We all either have a dead-end job or suffer a toxic relationship or a chronic lack of money etc. But due to our implicit loyalty to our comfort zone we never realize that our own thoughts and beliefs are creating the problems. The deep tenuous connections between our words and deeds and the constant oppositions we face are well hidden from us!
Born in the rich culture of South India and educated in English, I have been exposed to two opposing world views enabling me to achieve synergy and realize true harmony. I belong to linguistic community “Saurashtra” who were silk weavers patronised by kings of yore. Our ancestors are said to have migrated from Western part of India to Tamil Nadu in the South several centuries ago. Growing up in the country as India underwent its pangs of Westernisation, I was able to synthesise the self oriented Western perspective with the community oriented native one to arrive at a wholesome concept of self after considerable efforts and experimentation. My forthcoming book “Searching for Self – In Pursuit of Inner Peace” is the culmination of this labour.