Why Your Comfort Zone is Your Danger Zone?
Videos / August 13, 2019
“What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.” – Bhagavad Gita 2.69
What this verse means is that, most people see material enjoyment as the purpose of life (their “day”), and anything that does not provide material enjoyment is their “night”. A wise person, according to the Gita, sees the opposite. This person sees material enjoyment as temporary and transient, and avoids it, knowing that it leads to a spiral of chasing the next material desire. We can confirm this spiral from our own experience.
How many times have we had a yearning to attain something? A new job? A new home? New car? Something that we see others seemingly “enjoying” (“My neighbor is happy because he has something I don’t. If I get it, I will be happy too”)? Upon attaining this, do desires cease, now that we have finally achieved that perceived pinnacle? In many instances, the thrill of accomplishment is short-lasting. We were after something that was the one source of happiness and the utmost goal, something that seemed to be beyond reach, the perceived source of happiness. Having attained it, the joy is not nearly what we thought it would be. It does provide some pleasure, but it is temporary. To make up for this disappointment in not finding true pleasure, we naturally develop new material goals.
This person wasn’t just happy because of that house, they were happy because of their house and their car, so let us also try to get that car, and we can also be happy. And the cycle continues. The lifestyles of the rich and famous tell us that material wealth is not synonymous with everlasting bliss. In reality, there are countless stories about depressed celebrities. These people have access to all the spoils of the material world. They have money to buy anything, hundreds of thousands or millions of adoring fans who follow their every step. They seemingly don’t have to yearn for anything. But how many of them are truly happy? We hear repeatedly about celebrities going through depression, divorce, and even suicide.
We can use these examples to factually understand that the network of material desires propagates itself, and will not lead to true contentment. There is an initial high from attaining material goals, but it is a transient feeling, lasting for a few minutes, hours, or days, and to recapture it again for that next fleeting moment, our mind develops new material goals. This is the true rut, and most of us have our lifestyle developed around following one flickering high after another.
Why does it have to be that way? The reason is that this is comfortable, and it is familiar. There’s something compelling about “that’s the way it’s always been”, and something cherished about “that’s what everyone else is doing too”. It’s safe, helps you fit in, and no one will blame you for following the trend. But if we can objectively identify that this is a rut, by objectively equating the missing link between “business as usual”, true euphoria, and inner peace, that might be the first step on another, less treaded path.
In this video, Swami Mukundananda talks about being stuck in a rut. In a systematic and logical process, Swamiji explains what these ruts are, and how to get out of them. All of this is done for our own benefit, and for the attainment of inner peace and connection with our own True Self and with the Divine.
The good news is, once you have identified you are in a rut, you don’t have to wait for the next break in the road to get out of it. You can start right away. It is undeniably a gradual process to climb out of, but the first step, identifying the rut, is the startling revelation and constitutes nearly half the journey.
Once you have identified your rut, next you need to get the right association. Scriptures emphasize the importance of “Satsang” – association with like-minded people. Satsang helps you not only to come out of the rut, but it also ensures that you do not fall into the incorrect rut.
You can associate with JKYog either through online or in-person, by participating in JKYog programs, satsangs and Radha Krishna Temple events. In association with the JKYog community, you can learn how to follow the path less followed:
- How to dispel negative thoughts and bring in repetitive positive thinking
- How to remain physically fit and maintain a healthy diet
- How to meditate in a more reliable and successful way
- The joy of associating with other spiritual seekers, on a consistent basis
- How to control your level of happiness
- How to better manage our time to fit in all of these lifestyle changes
In essence, the paramount lesson has been the revelation of the very meaning of life. Many people spend their entire life or many lifetimes searching for this. Having found it, it truly does put everything else in perspective. Objectively, we can understand that the ways of yesterday are probably not the best way forward, so why not try something different?
Once, in Norther Oklahoma, on a native American farm, oil was discovered. This person, he suddenly became a billionaire. He purchased a Cadillac. He would now drive through his native villege in the Cadillac. He had lots of friends and social connections. While driving, he would always talk to them. As the car moves, he would turn to the left and also turn to the right. Sometime he would turn all the way over to speak to somebody behind. Despite all his histrionics, the car never suffered an accident. Do you know why? Because there were horses pulling it. He never switched on the ignition. He was not so intelligent. It had a 98 horse power engine inside, that Cadillac. But he was using 2 horses to pull his car. Similarly, we all have infinite potential, but we have crippled it. What are the things that cripple it?
Firstly, is our false beliefs. If you have created the false belief, now is the time to shed it. Or remove this belief that you are a bag of chemicals.
Second, get out of your comfort zone. In terms of your emotions and also your beliefs. This falling into the rut is a big spiritual problem.
The power of the rut, the Northern Canadians know. It is said, that in North Canada, there are only two seasons. The first is winter, which is for 11 months a year and the second season is july, the only part of the year which is not winter. For a little while the snow thaws and the ground becomes slushy. A car happens to go by. It creates trenches with its wheels. But very soon the water freezes up again to create this deep rut. Those ruts continue for long. That is why, I have heard that in the country side cities put up boards, “Be careful which rut you chose, you are going to be in it for the next 20 miles”. We have all chosen our ruts. “This is comfortable thinking for me. If Swamiji tells me I have infinite potential, reject it, stay in the rut.” But if you wish to grow you have to move out of your zone of comfort which you have gotten habituated to over the last few decades and chose to believe that as a child of God, I have got infinite potential.
Next thing is to commit yourself to growth and excellence. The commitment. You see there are different attitudes. One is the chaltha hai (it’s ok) attitude. The chaltha hai kind of people, everything chaltha hai and there are those “If anything is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well” . Particularly, your spiritual journey. That requires a commitment to ourselves. Not to Swamiji or anybody else, but to our own self. To strive for excellence to the best of our ability. Those who have attained God realization, were the ones who have had this temperament and internal attitude.
Take a look at Dhruv. He was only a 4 year old. When he was departing to the forest as a four year old, Narad met him and said “what do you want to do?” He said, “I wish to meet God.” Narad said, “forget it. I will offer you some gold and jewels. Why don’t you take that?” No compromise. So Narad tried again, he said, “You know, there are so many wild animals out there. They can get at you.” Dhruv said, “God will grace me because I am on the right path.” Narad said, “Big yogis have strived for God, and not attained him in one life time. You are a four year old, you wish to attain him?” Dhruv responded very brilliantly, he said, “Those yogis did not have a Guru like yourself. I do, I am confident, I will.” Narad tested his disciple and then blessed him. He taught him the Sadhana, “Go and do it.” In the space of 4 months, Dhruv achieved God relaization through the attitude, the mindset of commitment to excellence. That is what I want you all to have, to rise to your infinite potential.