May 30, 2012
When I look back on my life I have done some pretty daring stuff – scuba diving, surfing, rappelling down the side of a tall building, traveling the world. I like to think I live in the moment, take risks and embrace change. The truth is, most people think I’m much more of a rebel than I really am. Most of the time I live very securely in my comfort zone.
I guess it’s called a comfort zone for a reason, it’s very comfortable there. As many of you know I live in a white house and work in a white office. All the walls and much of the furniture is white (yes we also have two white dogs) – I’m a minimalist and I love it that way. Well that is, until this week. Let me explain…
I write a blog about ideas and creativity (creatingclever.com) and am always looking for new things to feature on it. I have written a couple of times about a product called ‘Idea Paint’ – it’s basically a paint that turns a wall into a high quality whiteboard surface (yes, I love to write on things). Recently the same company bought out a new paint – a clear whiteboard paint, which means you can paint it onto wood, or colored walls and still use it like a whiteboard. I loved the idea. I mentioned on my blog, and was very kindly sent a sample from the company.
So my dilemma began. I didn’t want to waste the clear idea paint on a white wall, it would just defeat the purpose, but we only had white walls. I needed to add color. I didn’t actually break out into cold sweats at the thought of this, but it was pretty close. Color? How could I choose just one? How do people do that?
It took a couple of days, and many moments of starring at the white wall, imagining it changing, for me to realize that it wasn’t that scary. It was scarier than surfing, but I could do it. I chose a color and headed to the paint store. I have seen all the television commercials where they can match any color so I was clutching a sample torn from a box. The first store couldn’t make the color, nor the second. Apparently I had chosen the only color that isn’t replicable. I had to make a quick decision, play safe (do nothing) or take a risk (pick a color).
We all have different comfort zones, I am fine with things most people find scary (talking to an audience of 3,000 people or surfing) but choosing a color had me a little freaked. What makes you feel this way? Take a risk, make your comfort zone a little bigger – do something that scares you.
I now have a blue wall in my office. A beautiful blue wall that I can write on. A blue wall that will always make me smile and make me a little braver. What is the blue wall in your life? What are you doing about it?
(This column was first published in The Daily Advertiser on Tuesday 29th May 2012, all rights reserved)