What do you and an elastic band have in common?

My audiobook du jour is John C. Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have indeed been ‘reading’ it for a while now. I can’t help it ~ it’s a goodie! So I’ve re-listened to quite a few sections (it’s hard to really retain it all whilst I’m getting anxious in traffic! Not to mention take notes — which I don’t do while driving by the way — unless I’m at a long stoplight!)

Aside: I have two recommendations for you:

1. Listen to audiobooks. It’s true I do sometimes miss and need to get my fix of the top 40 hits every once in a while, however I love the convenience. See as a wannabe reader who simply can’t schedule in regular reading time this is an excellent option…

2. Join your local public library. That way you can listen and read to your heart’s content! Even with the $5.60 I’ve racked up in late fees on this book alone it’s SOO worth it!

Okay back to the book. Of all the invaluable laws I have read about so far, one from a more recent chapter stood out: the law of the rubber band.

So get this: Mr. Maxwell and I actually have something pretty neat in common ~ he and I have both used elastic bands in our keynote presentations! (Come on, you have to admit that makes me kind of cool, no?!?) Now I use mine when explaining the 3 zones of human experience, and have colour coated the inside to be green, half of the outside to be yellow, and the other half red. (I remember the first time I did this I had colourful pen all over my fingers! Ha!) However he uses them a tad differently.

Having previously placed one elastic at every seat, he then asks the group to brainstorm all of the different ways in which an elastic band can be used. People can get pretty creative. At the end of the exercise, he then points out the obvious: a rubber band is useless unless it is stretched. He then goes on to say the same is true of humans.

“Growth doesn’t happen by staying in your comfort zone,” Maxwell asserts. And I happen to agree.

He then goes on to say if you are not stretching, you are not living.

Now I know I have previously spoken about the fact you should do something every day that not necessarily scares you, but that stretches you. However, this book shed light on this idea in a whole new way.

Maxwell believes that growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you want to be. And he also believes most people lose this tension over time ~ especially if they start to experience some success. However, if you’re growing (which we’re all doing, right?!?) what was once your stretch zone now becomes your comfort zone. And so in order to continue your growth, it’s time to stretch yourself again.

The more comfortable you are the more complacent you become. The less tension you experience the less productive you are.

The less comfortable you are the more you stretch. The greater the tension, the greater the growth.

Humans, like rubber bands, are useless unless they are stretched.  (Click to tweet it out!)

Are you still with me?

In what areas of your life have you lost your stretch and settled in? Don’t get too comfy where you’re at, and don’t expect growth to magically happen. It won’t. You have to be intentional (one of the other laws… perhaps for another week?!?) about your growth, and intentionally stretch yourself outside of what’s comfortable.

l admit I’ve said it before (and will likely say it again!) your stretch zone is where the magic happens ~ it’s where creation reigns and growth abounds – it’s where the game of life really gets played.

SO ~ how are you going to stretch yourself today? In what areas have you maybe lost your stretch? What will you do to remedy that this week?  I want to hear from you in the comments below :-).

And, speaking of stretching, by the time you read this I may already be on stage presenting part of James MacNeil’s ‘Sales Mastery’ course! He asked me to teach a section only yesterday ~ talk about going outside of my comfort zone!!! Well, at least I’m growing, right!?!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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p.s. My first full-day event ~ ‘IGNITE’ ~ is selling out quickly!  It takes place on Saturday, Nov. 8th! Register HERE today!