When I was assigned the Task to write an essay about the story of my life I was lost as to what I could talk about. You see I’ve lived the majority of my life in comfort never having to try to try too hard to get what I’ve needed. I’ve never had to live in poverty, been bullied or ultimately had to put myself out there. Because of this I created something called a comfort zone. That place of feeling safe or at ease, a place where you do just enough to get only acceptable results in all aspects of life. But it’s only once you’ve left your comfort zone that you realize that it was never so comfortable. This what I’m here to talk to you about today a small battle I’ve had and the experiences I’ve lived through to try exit my comfort zone. In short my name is Ben I’m 17 Years old and my experiences people I’ve met and aspirations have led me to where I am today.
In the last months of 2015 I made one of biggest commitments in my early life. This was the start of a 29er sailing campaign that despite oblivious at the time would lead me to sail in the world championships a year later. Myself and fellow sports people making this commitment soon realized the new challenges that came with this powerful boat that was much more challenging and physical than any boat any of us had sailed before. I often came home off the water sore all over and unable to move. I think it’s fair to say those first few months most of my time was spent below the water rather than above it. It was an achievement just to not capsize within the space of an hour. Nonetheless what began as a sort of hobby of cruising around the harbor once a week turned into a full time job of 5 days a week sailing taking up a lot of my free time. It was something like that of an Olympic training program driving by ambitious parents one upping each other with the latest gear of fitting in an extra day of training. This resulted in the majority of my life being eaten up by white board sessions, off the water training and sailing regattas. I could have let all these things push me to just quit and just give up, in other words return to my comfort zone. But I didn’t. I endured and the opportunity arose to travel to the other side of the world to sail in the world championships. This experience ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and I am extremely happy I went. But the point is if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone, the opportunity to go and do what I did my have never happened. This philosophy is now a thing I recognize is a very important part of life Thus I try to apply it in every situation I can whether it’s small or big.
Something however that I didn’t mention about this boat that being the fact that it was a two man boat which came with its own new set of challenges coming previously from a single handed boat. One of the biggest challenges was attempting to work together despite our different personalities. I won’t go into too much detail but our fights and arguments despite the fact I hated them I believe it benefited me in the fact it shaped me to have my own views and opinions rather than just agreeing with other people’s thoughts for the sake of keeping everyone happy or because I was afraid to share my own.
This leads me to next experience something I would never have pictured myself doing 5 years previous. Something I would have never done without this new mentality. Deciding was probably the most daunting experience in my life and rightfully so, I was basically leaving my life in Auckland and starting a whole new one away from my family and friends. But like the statement I mentioned earlier in my speech it was not until I came here that I realised that the comfort of home was not so comfortable. Because of this realisation I hope to pursue similar opportunities in my future that be going to university traveling the world and generally pursuing a better life while trying to create a better self.
Have you ever convinced yourself not to do something, almost having an internal argument trying to tell yourself that what you’re about to do is will have significant negative consequences even though it most likely won’t. You cannot reason with this feeling it’s almost like arguing with a complete idiot who no matter what you throw at will always believe he or she is right. The point is whatever nonsense this feeling throws out you ”you’re not good enough, something is wrong with you etc”. is all wrong and it’s just holding you back from getting what you want in life. But the truth is the only way to ever get away from this mentality is to live as much of your life outside of your comfort zone.