Effort and Perseverance

Michael Atkins
5 min readJun 1, 2021

“The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.” Roy T. Bennett

There once was a time when I was terrified of crowded subway trains. I was afraid that I would find myself away from the door, and I wouldn’t be able to make my way through the crowd. Indeed, it was stupid to be afraid of, but if you think about it, the most subtle way life can test you if you really want something is by putting obstacles in your way.

Having to push people out of your way can be one of the most challenging things to do. It has more to do with fear than with kindness. It is more about self-indulgence than it is about altruism.

To a certain degree, we are all self-centered, but at the same time, we are also afraid of others. We don’t want to be invisible, yet we don’t want to be punished for being “too visible” either. In essence, we want to be comfortable. However, we learn early on that other people have the power to disturb that comfort.

Ever since I became a writer, I’ve met a lot of other writers. Some of them are far better at their craft than I could ever hope to become at mine.

Yet, what surprised me is that most of them are afraid. They don’t seem to really want it; they just kind of like it. Many of them are scared to take risks and give something up for that great story they have always wanted to create.

What I’ve come to realize is that they don’t want to give up their “comfortable” lives to build all the dreams they have stored up in their hearts. They fear failure — always afraid that people will hate their stories, or even worse, not bother to read them.

You would be surprised by how many of these writers repeatedly tell me that they are only writing books for fun — that it’s just a hobby or a passion reserved for when the stars align in just the right way.

Yet all of them never fail to tell me as an aside that it would be nice to have it all and to be able to do what they love doing most in the world over and over again, without having to worry about money, bills, or taxes.

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Michael Atkins

Technologist and life-long language learner. Speaks fluent Japanese and Indonesian among other languages. Inspiring the world through love of language learning