I’ve personally gone snowboarding a couple of times, and I’m decent at it (especially considering I don’t get too much practice being in Singapore). I’m not good by any means, but I get by, and don’t fall. And what I’m writing here is based on what my experience learning snowboarding.

2 points. One about apparent risk, and one about vision (and my personal failure).

Firstly, risk. Or rather, apparent risk. In snowboarding, if you want to turn, you lean in the direction you want to go. It’s not always the most comfortable position. It’s slightly off center; off balance, if you will. But it’s the only way for you to direct yourself, instead of being dictated by the environment, controlled by the curve of the slope. It might seem risky (you’re off balance, leaning to one side, seemingly more likely to fall), but in the larger picture, it’s the only way to be sure of where you’re going.

In life, sometimes you have to do what seems risky. You have to go off-kilter a bit. You need to know where you want to go, and lean in that direction. It might seem risky, it might bring you off balance for a while. But in the end that’s the best bet you have if you want to control your own path.

My second point is more about my personal failure in snowboarding, the biggest thing I myself have trouble with. I never manage to board toe side (with my back facing downhill). I always struggled with being unable to see where I was going. I knew where I was going. I could see the slope before I got on the board, and I’m pretty sure the slope didn’t change. But just the inability to see where I’m headed as I’m moving made me nervous. And that has held me back (until now) from going to the next level in my snowboarding. It’s something that I need to get over.

Again, this lesson can be applied to life as well. I personally have to learn this lesson as well. Sometimes, it’s hard to take a step without being able to see where you’re going. Even if you’ve seen the path before hand. But sometimes, if you don’t take that ‘blind’ step, you won’t be able to progress to the next level.

Both these lessons have a common thread, though. Doing something that might not be comfortable. Because, as Curt Rosengren, the M.A.P Maker, told us, being too comfortable can be bad.

I’ll leave you with the same two questions as Curt, because I don’t think I could phrase them any better.

How are you exploring your Discomfort Zone right now? How could you?

Photo taken by Jasmic