I found out my road bike had two broken spokes yesterday just before going out. I really wanted to get on saddle, so I quickly activated my plan B, that was riding my old hybrid bike.

For those who are not bike experts, riding an old hybrid when you are used to a lightweight road bike is tough. You must put in twice the energy for a lower output.

Whilst the session was really challenging work, once completed I felt great about it. I worked out more and had to figure out strategies to keep up with my cycling buddy. Bottom-line I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and learned new stuff. I therefore decided that in the future I will plan to ride different bikes rather than waiting for another break-down to happen.

This triggered the reflection I wanted to share today. When you are in your comfort zone, you quickly stop learning. You do the same things over and over, your get lazy and stop being creative and grow both as a professional and a human being.

Getting into your stretch zone, the zone where learning happens, it therefore advisable, especially when you can choose to do it rather than being driven by the circumstances. You can constantly evolve and equip yourself with elements that can help you make progress with your career and weather out storms, should these come.

It doesn’t require a ton of imagination. You know from the feed-back you received from co-workers or bosses which skills you need to learn more of (marketing, sales, operations etc.) or which competences you need to exercise (stake-holders’ management, effective communication, strategic planning, etc.). So, without dramatic change, put yourself in those circumstances proactively and learn new stuff.

A small step taken every day, could really take you far away.

Did you stretch yourself today?