COMFORT ZONE The end of progress

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 May 2018 14:15:58


By nitin bakshi,

It was not long ago when the story about Apple hit the headline of all leading business dailies across the world. The story was about the technical initiative taken by Apple in connection with adding some additional features to its I-Phone. Yes, it was a kind of major news because prior to that these features were not even thought about. These features were about social marketing, social relationships and getting connected in smooth manner in form of an application on I-Phone. The activities that used to take place on computer only were provided a new platform by Apple on mobile.

At that time in the world of mobile and computer two companies were ruling the market. Black-berry was believed to be having a corporate set-up on its mobile. Having an I-Phone is supposed to be status symbol in today corporate world. Similarly about 10-12 years back, having a Black-berry phone was supposed to be a matter of status symbol. Black-berry was having almost 49% market share in the US market and hence was quite relaxed. The innovations effected by Apple were discussed by Black-berry think-tank for quite a while. But as Black-berry was firm with its current market scenario, they decided to look over the initiatives and rather decided to go ahead with their own programme. Black-berry was adamant to a certain extent over its position on holding a big market share.

Another mobile giant in the world market was also having its major share the world of mobile in the United States also. It was none other than Nokia. There was no doubt about the depth of penetration Nokia had made in almost all countries in the world and the United States was no exception. About a decade back, in almost all countries from top to bottom, it was Nokia all the way. We all know that in India also, it was Nokia who was having the final say when it came to selecting a mobile. As Nokia was a leading brand across the world, using its mobiles was supposed to be prized scalp. Naturally Nokia was having a nice time in the US also. The top bosses in Nokia did provide deaf ear to all innovations made by Apple.

Both Black-berry and Nokia decided to have a ‘let it go’ kind of approach towards the changes made by Apple. Some members in the think-tank of both these companies went on to state that the innovations made by Apple are for kids only and hence they were no more interested in having innovations in the name of social chit-chat. Apple went ahead with innovations as proposed. I-Phones of Apple with the proposed innovations hit the market. As we all know that the strategists in Apple were masters in marketing their tools. The strategies and innovations were liked by customers all over the world.

Nokia and Black-berry were quite sure about their customers and not just gave cold shoulder to the launch of I-Phone, but decided instead to play safe by reducing their R&D cost also. After the launch of I-Phone, Apple did not have to do anything for next few years. Nokia and Black-berry were in no position to do anything after a period of four years. Both these companies lost more than 50% of their market share to Apple. In fact after a period of five years since the launch of I-Phone by Apple, these companies were no longer in any kind of competitive mode at all. They were simply driven out of the US market by Apple.

Friends, you must be wandering as to what substance this story of the past carries for the Indian entrepreneurs, businessmen, professionals or youngsters. Well, the moral of the story is that in order to accomplish, what you have in your mind, you need to avoid just a single but the most powerful adversary in your life i.e. COMFORT ZONE. This is one of the most decisive stages of your life. What we do is that whenever we are going through a smooth phase in our life, we tend to get complacent. We do not work as hard as we normally do. We start liking the nice things in our life. We start to have a feel that all these good things are there on account of my hard-work, my decision making or my attitude. This kind of thing gets into the mind very easily. What happens next is that since we start liking ourselves, we start disliking the things which cause problems to our set mind-set. This state of affair is known as COMFORT ZONE. This is a wonderful state of mind which simply blocks all sensible things from getting into your mind. The critical point to note here is that we start disliking the core thing which had been instrumental for our current status i.e. regular hard-work. As we start liking getting into our own groove of nice feelings about ourselves, anything that even tries to get us out of that groove automatically creates irritating feeling in our mind. This groove becomes our comfort zone.

It has been observed for years together that maximum people like to work within their comfort zone. As we work within our comfort zone, we stop facing challenges. Even if some challenges are there, we tend to overlook them. Not accepting these challenges may inflict losses to us, but we feel that the cost of losses is not more than the peace of our comfort zone.

That is why we do not come out of our comfort zone and keep on appreciating the deeds of our past. The real problem of comfort zone lies here. When we are within our comfort zone, the world is progressing at fast rate. Even if we refuse to acknowledge the changes or innovations that take place outside the purview of our comfort zone, the changes or innovations keep taking places. We notice them or not; that remains our problem. By refusing to get out of our comfort zone, we prefer laxity over commitment to improvement.

Comfort zone spins a dreadful web around us which simply restricts our mental, emotional as well as physical movements. This web is extremely complex to understand and break. As far as we Indians are concerned we need to understand that we miss the purpose of life by remaining in the comfort zone. We lack the zeal, courage and effectiveness in our thinking. The main problem with this state of mind is that it keeps us so relaxed that we ignore all signals given by the situation, customers or the market. Remember, when we are having off time, others keep progressing rapidly with new innovations.

Another problem with comfort zone is that we simply refuse to acknowledge that “we are not doing anything”. We conveniently ignore that taking advantage of our relaxed approach towards self-development, the competitors are making rapid progress and grabbing our market share. Hence it is advisable for everyone to see that firstly we do create any comfort zone at the out- set. If at all it gets created our mission, our vision or our goal should be strong enough to get us out of the comfort zone. As Black-berry and Nokia were in their comfort zone for a considerable period, they were driven out of the market by their own customers and competitors. If you wish accomplish something in your life, ensure that you do not get into your own comfort zone and invite debacle for you in personal or professional capacity.

(The author is Director, The First Step, Akola and can be reached at
thefirststep[email protected]) n