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Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Could've Been a Contender!

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It was one of the truly memorable great quotes, uttered by Marlon Brando over half a century ago.

"You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, Charley, let's face it." Terry Malloy-On the Waterfront (1954)

It resonates, because so many can identify with the plaintive message. We all know people who live in the past and regale us with their stories of what they could’ve done, what they could’ve been, what they could’ve had, if only…

There lies the rub. No one really cares. Lost perceived opportunities exist in the realm of science fiction parallel universes. If you had asked that girl out, if you had got that dream job, if you had given up smoking, if you had started your own business, and any number of alternate choices had been taken, are fodder merely for idle day dreaming and the sustenance of frustration.

The only thing that will ever impact our current reality is that which we actually do in the moment.

We can all be contenders. There is however one very significant hurdle to be cleared, one that very few people will ever scale. Virtually every conceivable and measurable achievement we ever attain will be defined by the limits of our comfort zone.

If ever there was a mislabeled term or misnomer, it has to be ‘the comfort zone’

The gap between our potential fulfillment and the reality of our experience is mostly a factor of fear. Not only fear, but more accurately, perceived fear.
Fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of intimacy, fear of success, and fear of any number of illusory shadows in the dark, that are in fact rarely based on actual evidentiary fact.

The ability to extend our comfort zone, will, more than just about any other activity, redefine our future achievements.

Imagine, if you had a momentary insight in to that parallel universe in which you lived the alternate life you were capable of living. Imagine glimpsing the person you could be. Successful, happy, respected by your peers, with an awesome family life, healthy, wealthy and wise.

I would imagine that would be a thoroughly depressing insight to have on your deathbed.

The message therefore is as follows: expand your comfort zone, even incrementally, on a daily basis. Take little risks. Ask for a pay rise. Ask your next-door neighbor, the supermodel, out for coffee. Set some real tangible hardcore goals for yourself that you want to achieve in the next 12 months, and start acting ‘as if’ you can’t fail.

You are a contender, every instant of your life, and the shackles around your neck are imaginary, as is the comfort zone that you inhabit.

Just a thought!


  1. Very interesting blog design. I have not seen anything like this. Ah, could have been, should have been, 'I could have a been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas.' Comfort zones are like your internal thermostat, your mind is always trying to bring you back to that perfect level of miserable. It is such a hard habit to break. Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed your blog and watched a few of your videos. I like your clean and to the point style.

  2. Hey Kiaran

    What a thought provoking statement : "Virtually every conceivable and measurable achievement we ever attain will be defined by the limits of our comfort zone"

    All one has to do is think back and realize how true that is.

  3. Great post, Kiaran.

    It's important to step out of the comfort zone if you don't want to settle for the ordinary and commonplace.

    Some people are content and "comfortable" and forget to think, grow and strive for the best.

    Thanks for sharing.

    All the best,
    Mavis Nong

  4. Wow - what an awesome "thought"! Kiaran I think we all get caught up in our own little "comfortable" worlds and then wonder why we aren't moving forward! Thanks for the reminder to keep stepping out of our comfort zones in order to find the success we all want! Great post!

  5. Hi Kiaran,

    One qote comes to mind....

    "It is never to late to become what you could have been." _George Eliot

    Great post!


  6. Whatever you want other people think of you, you have to think of yourself first.

    Good food for thought, Kiaran.

    Ana Hoffman

  7. Great post Kiaran we can't change the past but we can pave the future. So let's get on with it.

    I see to many people talking about the good old days. Man lets forge ahead and make some great new days.

    Steve Shoemaker

  8. Loving your post Kiaran,

    It is so important to have one two dipped outside our comfort zone at all times, it helps us grow and achieve so much.

    What would you do if you have no fear!...I like to consider this when ever I am trying to make a decision on something. Is that you are scared of failing or something else?

    Thanks for this important message and I am loving your blog.

    Beth :)

  9. Hi Kiaran,
    awesome and thought provoking. These are really parellel universes, a dreamworld of the past instead of dreaming in the here and now. One word to the comfort zone: I don't think that the "comfort zone" is really comfortable. In most instances we know we need to change something, but we don't do it, out of fear for example. That feeling isn't comfortable at all. So to me, it's "zone of habits", of bad habits, in most cases.
    Thanks for sharing and take care

  10. Nice Kiaran,

    There are too many "could have, should have, what if, if only"s to bother spending time thinking of them.

    I agree with your post. Getting out of the comfort zone, consistently, is the only way to move forward.

    Thanks for this!


  11. Kiaran,
    Great post on living in the moment and expanding our comfort zone. They don't call them "growing pains" for nothing. It's not comfortable to step outside of comfort, yet it's the only way to expand, to be more, to create more room in life.
    Thanks for the reminder,

  12. 不論做什麼事,相信自己,別讓別人的一句話,把你擊倒。.......................................................