Perils of a comfort zone-oriented mind-set and lifestyles

The world is for those who are always on the move. There is absolutely no space for complacency. There are achievers and super achievements. They always question the status quo. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have people with comfort zone-oriented lifestyles who are those with a huge ability to procrastinate, blame others, believe in fatalism and demotivate others. This article is an attempt at discussing some ramifications of the problem and ways to get over it.


As totally opposed to those who always do hard work and achieve successes in life, we always have hundreds of "comfort zone" oriented individuals who are actually talented, but only want to live a life where they are very comfortable with whatever they have or they have achieved. They are never happy to do hard work or give up pleasures that result in huge wastage of time. This is particularly true of a) procrastination b) blaming others c) total belief in fatalism and d) demotivating others. A fantastic combination of these factors leads them to comfort zones that they are very happy with. However the resultant negative effects on others is so huge that there is a huge problem in terms of tolerating such people.

The only way of getting over this dangerous comfort zone-orientation is to ask a) how can I do things better? b) Am I capable of doing far better with my skill-sets and c) what help can I take to get over my problem. Some dimensions of these actions are also discussed in this article.

Procrastination- the giant killer

Those with comfort zones always say "I will do it tomorrow". They are dime a dozen in all Government offices. This happens because there is very little nor accountability. Even in the case of others, this is a huge problem. The belief that they can do it tomorrow is so overwhelming. Laziness takes over. They are never sure they will do it. One has to really counsel such people and develop a "do it now" attitude. This is also true of children in the 15 to 18 age group who are totally distracted, do not study properly and are into love affairs that do not take them anywhere.

Blaming others

Comfort zone operators happily blame others. For them empathy does not exist. Nor does reasoning. The always see how the other person is not perfect. Their imperfection is never taken into account. Result? There is a dangerous tendency to blame others. Some cruel mothers-in-law, even in 2018 fall into this trap. Their comfort zones do not allow them to see further. Reprimanding by authority figures and some counseling can help to some extent.

Total belief in fatalism

Blind belief in fatalism is another problem. There is a pronounced tendency to say "nothing is in our hands". This sense of helplessness does enough damage to the person who never even understands that he believes in fatalism. The spoken word comes automatically. This is the result of conditioning of the mind that makes such people believe in total fatalism. This is a hugely dangerous habit and cannot take the person anywhere.

Demotivating others

This is even a more acute problem. Comfort zone operators try every trick in their bags to totally run down others who are achievers. The main reason is jealousy. This can even happen to jilted lovers, who dangerously think that the girl has to compulsorily love only him. Their comfort zones would not allow reason to take over. Such behaviors also need to be checked, though professional counseling.

Getting over the major problem

Since the behavior of those with pronounced comfort zones is very complex, there are no easy solutions. However based on my real world experience, persistent counseling by significant others can make a huge difference.

Here is a real world case study. Left to the care of his aunt (mother's sister) in a new city in Western India, at the crucial age of twelve, Prakash ( name changed), developed huge comfort zones because his parents got him whatever he wanted. The parents did not want him to come to USA for the simple reason that he was by nature very lazy. Above average in his studies, Prakash had all comfort zone behaviors. His aunt did not do much to rectify him, believing that his parents would anyway take him to the USA.

Both the parents and the aunt were wrong. Prakash fell in love with a girl who has economically very poor. Though a good girl, who also reciprocated his love, the family was a big zero. The father had irregular work and no earnings. The mother of the girl encouraged the love affair purely for economic reasons. This was worse than the comfort zone of Prakash. She would constantly poison the mind of Prakash, saying that his aunt never cared for him. This started to influence the girl too. She became more demanding, pestering Prakash to promise to take her to the USA. She also stated demanding costly gifts from Prakash. When the love affair came to be known to the parents of Prakash, they rushed back to India to set things right.

Professional counselors did a superb job. They convinced Prakash that he could do things far better. They developed a huge amount of optimism in him. Prakash's mother stayed back to oversee the process. Though always lazy, Prakash was very good in mathematics. Since he was just in the tenth standard, his mother's care and counseling made him turn around. He discovered all his strengths. His "can do" attitude was so easily seen. Prakash had ideal answers to the three questions mentioned above in the introduction.

Prakash's mother warned the girl to keep away and filed a police complaint when the girl tried to threaten Prakash. Since he was now more mature, Prakash was totally changed. He did so well in this school final examination. His parents packed him off to a very good residential school in Bangalore city where he completed his plus two examination with flying colors. The mother took up a job in Pune. She took him to the US when he was ready.

Of course, the true case study was more supportive of a turnaround because the mother acted so fast. However, in real life all that needs to be done is to identify comfort zones very early and through counseling and change of environment that will mostly do the trick. Parents also need to take personal interest in this matter. As far as employed people are concerned, only counseling can help to a large extent.

Comfort zone behavior can also destroy families and even entire societies. The Government departments need to be told to do work. Not do the kind of work that gets done now. This of course is a huge ask.

Identifying comfort zone behaviors is the step number one. Exposing the victims to all the positive behaviors of the achievers and getting them to interact with the latter is step two. Changing the behavior to the development of "can do" behaviors and reinforcing positive thoughts and behavior is step three. Helping the victim to make a total transformation is key. The real world case study of Prakash is an ideal way of doing things. The important lessons that we can learn from it can be the base for constructive actions whatever be the nature of the comfort zones of other people too.

It should be remembered that counseling is a must. How to get this done will however vary from case to case.


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