Getting Out of Our Comfort Zone to Build Our Human Spirit
(5-7 minute read)
“It can make us do physical superhuman things that you wouldn’t dream someone is capable of, while also convincing our brain which is hardwired to protect that same physical body from harm to do these things”
When deciding what to write about I listed loads of different headings and ideas. I wanted to make it relevant to this time of struggle and unease. We are all struggling together, some a lot more than others and to find something that makes us all hope for the future is near impossible. Truth is I looked and couldn’t find anything tangible not from news articles, billionaires, medical articles, leaders of countries or role models nothing that could physically help us all or I could relate to. So I decided to write about something that can’t be seen but lives in all of us and something that makes us get up every time we fall, this is our “human spirit”. I have always been amazed at its presence and its roll in the stories of far greater humans than me that have done wondrous things. It is also why Far and Wide believe people need outdoor experiences and challenges and the reason we get people out of their comfort zones.
Through some of my modest life experiences, the most powerful feelings came from a thing I couldn’t explain, I believe this was the “human spirit”. This thing allows us to be well us and do creative things, special things, amazing things somethings that make us feel powerful, uplifted or fulfilled. It is through these experiences we get that feeling of pure honied joy, accomplishment or perseverance that pulses through our veins, buzzing around our bodies. This can come from the simplest moments and interactions to the greatest accomplishments and pain, last for a second or a day. The human spirit is amazingly resilient, strong and intangible yet incredibly emotional, malleable and noticeable and exists in every human. We may be divulging into the realm of religion but I don’t want to think about it in this way as I believe it transcends all religion although I do think it finds its presences in it as well, but rather this is because I believe it exists in all of us whether we are or are not religious.
I am not going to pretend to be an expert philosopher, insightful artist or spiritual leader, In fact I am not even close to being in the realm of the greatest minds that have wondered and worked out intricate parts of our existence. I have however like everyone I believe seen the human spirit at work in myself, in others even on the tv in a documentary or in a good book that made my imagination picture how these stories played out. Let me then explain how relevant the human spirit is to us and our existence.
I asked myself what makes each of us get up after our biggest failures and what made all these people in these stories and experiences do what they did and ultimately I always think of the human spirit in action. It makes us who we are, it is the complex immaterial part of us that makes each of us different, the proverbial paint and paintbrush that creates the masterpiece on the canvas that is our life. We are all born with it and find it in our limitations that we struggle with, it is this human spirit that helps us overcome them. It is both creative and practical in its presence and allows us to find solutions in the most dire situations that only we would think of. These solutions sometimes succeed and sometimes fail to bring us to our knees and then unbelievably the same human spirit manages to make us pick ourselves up again. We experience these moments in personal ways and this makes us who we are and we continue on our journey in life, all be it stronger and more experienced with an enhanced human spirit.
What I find fascinating is its ability to affect us both physically and mentally. It can make us do physical superhuman things that you wouldn’t dream someone is capable of, while also convincing our brain which is hardwired to protect that same physical body from harm to do these things. Take for example white water kayaker Tyler Bardt dropping down a world record 57 meter waterfall in a plastic boat or Edmund Hillary climbing the previously unconquered Everest for the first time. I guarantee there were moments when their brains and bodies screamed how stupid they were to start or even to carry on in undoubtedly difficult times on their journeys. Yet through all of this, there had to be something that told them to go on a small voice that said you can do this. Don’t get me wrong I understand sometimes people don’t finish, achieve their goal and fail. In these moments I also believe the same human spirit is there to say hey you tried let’s let it go, get back up and back to that canvas, start again something new or something else. How many artist and visionaries failed or got rejected before they found success. To name a few:
- Walt Disney – fired because his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Oprah Winfrey- Whilst being an evening news reporter got fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories.
- Albert Einstein – Didn’t speak until he was four, didn’t read until he was seven and was expelled from school resulting in not being admitted to the Zurich Polytechnic School.
- Marilyn Monroe – was trying to start her career but modelling agencies told her she should consider becoming a secretary instead.
- Abraham Lincoln – When he was young and entered the war as a Captain came back as a much lower Private. Later on, tried to start up a ton of businesses, all failed. Before becoming president, he lost several runs for public office
- Micheal Jordan – Was cut from his high school basketball team. He once said, “I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
This, however, is not to say our human spirit is indestructible rather it is as strong as you make it. Your experiences good and bad, your failures and success mould it and weave it to be bulletproof. It is you who decides whether to listen to your human spirit and this means you need to find out what it sounds like. Get out of your comfort zone and get moving, it is there and it’s unique to you.
Written by JJ Cragg