I was getting everything ready for a Zoom presentation. To ensure the landline phone in my office didn’t ring in the middle of the session, I unplugged the cord from the wall outlet. I inadvertently unplugged the internet connection also. My desktop computer shut down. The event had already started. I had two options: trouble shoot to determine how to re- connect and reboot the desktop or do the presentation on my cellphone. Both options were challenges for me.
Some people like trouble shooting. I admire those people, but I am not one of them. I just want technology to work. In that moment, I had no time to ruminate, I was on in five minutes. Although I hadn’t done a Zoom presentation on a cellphone, that is the option I chose. That challenge forced me out of my comfort zone and created an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s hard to admit, but I love being in my comfort zone. However, it is not always the best place to be. Too much change too fast is overwhelming but lingering in the comfort zone can leave you a “day late and a dollar short.” Had I not challenged myself to learn how to use my cellphone, I could have missed out on the opportunity to present.
While preparing for this week’s blog, I learned the difference between a problem and a challenge. According to the Microsoft Encarta College Dictionary, a problem is a difficult situation or person where as a challenge is an invitation or a chance to gain an advantage. I initially look at my circumstance with the desktop as a problem, but it was an opportunity for growth. Joyce Meyers, renowned evangelist, said, “We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.” We all love our comfort zones even though it could be holding us back. It is the devil we know.
The challenges NASA human computers, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden faced were depicted in the movie, Hidden Figures. They were very competent and comfortable in their roles. However, after learning their positions would be eliminated when electronic computers were installed, they challenged themselves to learn how to program and operate the new technology.
Challenge yourself to learn something new. Your future could depend on it. Change your thoughts, change your destiny!