Comfort Zone: A Formidable hurdle to Success

Dear High Performer and Visionary,

I had my second conference call last sat with the April seminar attendees: they say there are deals available; there is money available; banks are generally amenable to doing transactions; they would not of believed they would be doing the actions they are now taking before they experienced the castle seminar; and I will add though not expressed directly by them.

None of this would have occurred without them TAKING DIRECT FOCUSED ACTION! In simple language, though they all thought they had been working hard in some form or another before the seminar, they now know they have been skating through their lives vis a vis being a high performance person! I am sure many of you can relate.

Comfort Zone (CZ)

I received this message on Face book this week:

I was speaking to my sister who graduated from CSUN about you and your work. I was shocked to find out she spent 5 weekends at your home in Palos Verdes in the early 90’s. She told me the thing that stuck with her was your asking them ” To get out of their comfort zones”.

She told me how she remembered how the group no longer wanted to go the event and how it wasn’t to later on in her life in teaching her own children to “get out of their comfort zones” that she realized the gift you had given her.

– Adolfo

I remember this class well, I taught at California State University, Northridge, where I attended under graduate school. The class deteriorated in size over the semester. I brought in various mentees of mine to relate different QLA precepts. The students could not relate to the concept of comfort zone, at that time. The all felt they were bright and going to take  the world apart. You can imagine how I got the kids to drop out – I put the heat on their young minds and told them there were consequences to missing my class  – a non passing grade!

That was a long time ago, but as I have been coaching over the years “comfort zone” or CZ  always presents a very formidable hurdle to all who desire success in following their dreams! Whether it is in athletics, business or life, people who feel more confident in their actions will prevail! To step out of one’s CZ isn’t easy! But the more you do it the easier it becomes. Do you remember the first person you ever went out with? Your first kiss? Your first – well you know what I mean!

Comfort zone was discovered, or created by Jim Newman. This great man was my mentor till his passing. His PACE – personal and company effectiveness was the training grounds to countless high performance people! I am merely one of the very large stable. His book is one of the few I continue to recommend – Release Your Brakes. It is a master piece and I suggest you get it ASAP! It’s main premise is –  we go through life with our emergency brakes on. for those of us old enough, we know what it feels like to drive a car with the emergency brakes on (now you can’t because you must put the car in gear): u drive very sluggish; it is bad for the tires, differential, engine; and generally drags on the entire performance of the car. Because we tend to always stay in our CZ, we never realize and or appreciate what our bodies, mind and self can really do. For those of us that have gone from being out of shape to getting fit you know what I mean. Well the same thing is possible for our minds and beings!

The major thing I have noticed in the recent seminar alumni, since I have now had two  conference calls with them – they all sound more and more confident! They continue to appear more confident as the weeks go by, and now after 8 weeks they sound completely different. They have stepped out of their CZ’s and gained confidence that can never be taken from them – no matter what!

One fairly comprehensive definition of comfort zone:

The comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. The comfort zone refers to the set of environments and behaviors with which somebody is comfortable, without creating a sense of risk. A person’s personality can be described by his or her comfort zones. Highly successful persons may routinely step outside their comfort zones, to accomplish what they wish. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that zone without stepping outside of it. To step outside a person’s comfort zone, they must experiment with new and different behaviors, and then experience the new and different responses that then occur within their environment.

Insensitive or Incompetent?

I have said countless times, I may be wrong – but I am never in doubt! I have been accused of many things, but being indecisive isn’t one of them. I have always said, I attribute my decisiveness to my training as a young army officer, over 40 years ago.  I have said, I would rather be respected than loved  – including to my three children. I have said these and many more controversial statements because – I would rather be called insensitive than incompetent! I feel strongly most kids are ill prepared for the toughness of life, because parents spend most of their time dealing with their own insecurities as their parents dealt with theirs.

High performance people are decisive, bold, and respected – they are not necessarily loved.  in fact most are only loved by their mom’s, LOL!

Being too sensitive can be in the short, intermediate and long term debilitating. Being sensitive can dictate your actions, because you do not want  to make waves. Or you want to be liked and in some cases loved. As many of you know, I have never suffered from this feeling. In fact some say my entire methodology is based on – pissing people off and being tough beyond common decency. This is a gross exaggeration, but does have some merit to it. I am not, nor ever have been, since I was in my teens been afraid of saying what I thought. As I have said many times, I attribute my high self esteem to my mother. God rest her soul. And to this day, my biggest regret is not being a better son! I didn’t realize the precious gift she gave me till I was middle age.

If you look and listen to the high performance people of the past 100 years: Ford, Edison, Carnegie; Goodyear, Rockefeller, Gates, Trump, Perot; Ellison, Welsh; M.L. King; Huizenga, Jobs, Buffett, Branson, Murdoch, Disney, Sears, Westinghouse, Walton, Onassis, Kroc, Hilton, Watson and countless other modern day high performance people with their social media programs where they speak their minds on a daily basis – they were and are not now ever shy to say what they thought. None of them could be accused of being sensitive. Of course there are always exceptions to all rules and I am sure for those of you that are sensitive, you will hope and pray you are the exception as well. The odds are your not, but I hope you are for your family’s sake.

Needless to say another big difference in the April castle seminar attendees is their perception of what is sensitivity and how they feel vis-à-vis what people think of them. Enough said!

True story

Back in the mid 90’s I was assisting in recruiting board members for several companies I was involved with in the UK, Europe and USA. I was always on the road and it was extremely time consuming – looking back. Of course hind sight is always 20/20.

There was a lawyer who was a legend at the time. He represented only the toughest clients in the UK, in fact he had just been successful in getting off the sons of a major industrialist. He was a workaholic. He owned in title one of the only houses in Mayfair (they are all owned by the duke of Westminster) and virtually all are leased on long terms like 99 years. His business cards were platinum coated and he was extremely eccentric.

We had approached him to join one of our boards but he politely declined due to time constraints and possible conflicts of interest.  He did say he would like to meet me, I said yes and showed up for a 7 am breakfast. I remember vividly walking up to his 5 story house looking forward to the experience, though I dislike breakfast meetings! We sat through breakfast and exchanged antidotes on business and life. What I can share with you is as follows: he had not taken a day off since 1971. He was not married. He loved the law, he adored what he did 18 – 20 hrs a day and he loved what he did because, amongst other things, he was so extremely good at it!

I asked him why he wanted to meet me? He laughed and said, “I had heard you had not taken a day off since 1970. I didn’t believe it and I wanted to meet you and congratulate you – if true!” We both laughed. I said it was true and we roared again! He said how did you keep it up so long? I said, similarly I loved what I did and I was extremely good at what I did. We both laughed as we sipped our cups of tea and both said we felt bad for all the people who are engaged in things they don’t love.

What is the moral to this true story? It should be as plain as the nose on your face, but in the spirit of kindness and brotherly love I will not kick you in the teeth about it. What I will say most people are: inherently lazy; give up on their dreams based on conventional wisdom; say money is not important enough to disrupt their lives when they fail the first, second or third time; and as guru Stuart Goldsmith says – most people live quite lives of desperation!

Since I turned 60, I am working less and I have actually taken days off. Since I turned 60 I am actually taking trips that have almost nothing to do with business. But there is not a day I don’t listen to CNN, CNBC, FOX and BBC. There is not a day I don’t read and answer emails! there is not a day I don’t keep track of the business ventures I am involved. Hence, I cannot say there are days I am totally excluded from business – including my birthday, Christmas, and all holidays. Of course business is still a BIG part of my life! I still love what I do and do what I love! At one time it was almost my entire life!

An Amazing Story

The Toilet Cleaner…Amazing Story……THE RIGHT ATTITUDE GETS YOU PLACES…


An unemployed worker applies to Microsoft for the position of Janitor. After going through tests and interviews ,the H.R. manager informs him that he is selected and request for his email address to which he wanted to send the employment contract and details of the day and time to start work. The man is distraught and answers that he has no computer and therefore he has no email . The H.R. boss tells him that if he has no email address he virtually does not exist and therefore cannot hold a job. The man leaves in a desperate mood without knowing what to do , with his last $ 10 in his pocket. Finally he decides to go into a supermarket and to buy a 10 lb box of strawberries. He starts selling them door to door by the pound. He manages to double his capital in 2 hours. He repeats the deal 3 times more and goes home with $ 60 in his pocket. He comes to see that he can survive this way. He starts every day earlier and come home every day later. So he triples or quadruples his money every day. A short time later he buys a wheel barrow, that he exchanges later into a truck and sooner or later he is the owner of a complete fleet of delivery truck.


Now he starts thinking about the future for him and his family and decides to buy a life insurance policy. He calls an agent and selects a good policy. At the end of the negotiations, the agent asks him for his email address to send him a confirmation of the policy. The man tells him that he doesn’t have an email address!!! That’s strange says the agent, you have no email address and nevertheless you built this large empire. Can you imagine where would you be if you had an email address?? The man briefly thinks and answers: I WOULD HAVE BEEN A TOILET CLEANER WITH MICROSOFT CORPORATION.

  • Moral 1 of the story: The internet does not solve all the problems in our lives.
  • Moral 2 of the story: When you have no email address but work hard you can be a millionaire.
  • Moral 3 of the story: You have received the story by email. Therefore you are closer to a janitor than a millionaire.

Nevertheless have a great day… networking with the likeminded… linking the very mind , soul, hearts to realize your individual and professional goals, linking to make this world a smaller place to live work meet greet and be a success.

Are you ready for the next castle seminar?