What are anchors? The first thing that comes to mind is that object tied to a rope, or chain, which prevents a boat from moving. Now pretend you’re the boat and you know where you want to sail, but that thing is preventing it. What’s anchoring you? Do you have more than one? How many? How heavy?
Anchors are the things in our lives that prevent us from moving to where we want to be. Stuff that keeps us from doing what we wish to do.
Anchors are things, views, notions in our heads, fears, accepted social concepts that stop us from cultivating our interests and developing our passions.
I strongly believe that, if we have the capacity to get rid of all our anchors, we can achieve true meaningful greatness. But it’s not easy – like a friend once said “It seems difficult, but the truth is… it’s not easy at all”
The Anchor of Comfort
'Growth and comfort do not coexist' Ginny Rometty (CEO of IBM)
'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone' Neale Donald Walsch
We have a gift to persuade ourselves of anything we want to believe in. We convince ourselves we already are where we want to be, doing what we want to do and how we want to do it. We convince ourselves that nothing is preventing us from getting there because we’re already there – ‘I have no anchors and am very comfortable where I am.’ We usually just want MORE of what we have.
It’s understandable we do this, it’s an assurance mechanism. We do feel comfortable after all, and no one likes dissatisfaction, failure or even the thought of it – ‘Change might be best, but why would I risk this comfortable position for one that might be less so?’ We’re content and happy to ‘stick with the devil we know’.
But if we’re truly honest, then we just might admit (in a whisper), that we are not where we want to be. And the saddest thing of all is that we know, more or less, where we want to be and have a vague idea of how to get there.
We’re just scared to do it. We’re afraid of what we don’t know. We’re terrified of change. Let’s face it, we’re pussies. We’re being held down by fear. We’re anchored.
Ever since my teens I had the desire to live overseas, in an English speaking country in which the weather was warm. Australia ticked all the boxes and during my 3rd year into the workforce, I started the process of obtaining a skilled migration visa – this visa allowed me to come over on my own terms and not be dependent on an employer.
It was a lengthy process (took me close to 4 years mainly due to my laziness) that required a significant level of effort on my part. During this time I had a range of mixed feelings towards this dream of mine. At the same time, I was both afraid and excited of heading alone, halfway across the world to a whole different reality.
Some days I couldn’t wait for the visa to be granted so I could be on my way. Others, I almost wished it was denied so the choice was made for me and I wouldn’t have to leave the comfort I knew – I would then be able to tell myself that I had tried very hard but it hadn’t been possible.
Back then, I was extremely aware of my biggest fear, my terror… a future regret. I pictured myself in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, shamed by the lack of balls of the younger me. I would say to myself, times and times again, in my periods of doubt, almost like a prayer – “I rather regret the fact that I did it, than regretting not doing it at all.”
Today I keep dreaming. I dream of living by the beach, doing new things and pursuing new interests. This means I will have to abandon my current comfort, but the potential reward is absolutely amazing, far more luxurious – surf every day, spend more time with my family, learn completely new skills, meet new people in a whole new environment.
I will put away my comfort in order to GROW. Grow as a father, partner, friend, oh and as a surfer.
There is no other way to grow other than from a position of discomfort.