A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 39 years of existence. Whew! 39 is a big number. A few more years before I go through the midlife stage. And I have been pondering lately…am I where I want to be now that I am 39?
When the year started, I felt like I have slipped into a comfort zone where I suddenly felt I have hit a wall. It wasn’t really a bad wall. It was just I felt so comfortable with where I was and it was not for my benefit. I became the hare in the fable the tortoise and the hare in which the hare felt he was ahead and slumped into a sleep. How did I become the hare? Earlier this year, I won Best Director in the recent Emirates Film Festival, my second year in a row for the short film “Girl Next Door”. Illustrado Magazine has also included me in this year’s Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf. It was a dream come true. Then I got lazy thinking of new film projects.
And then there is our new office. I used to dream of having my own office with brick walls and wooden floors with big windows. Late last year, we were blessed moved in to that office. Then we got so busy also with a lot of projects which was another reason I couldn’t post as often as I wanted. One of those major projects was the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC 2018). We also have reliable talented individuals join our team which is great except that I did not shoot as often as I used to. They are that good!!! I also stopped joining photography contests because I did not have time to review and edit my work. I felt so accomplished in the beginning of the year that I slipped into a routine that did not involve any growth. This is when getting comfortable is not good.
Since I felt I was ahead, I stopped setting new goals; it is one of the pitfalls of enjoying your comfort zone too much. It was not I was not working. Every day I was still busy. I was only going through the motions. I was doing the same thing everyday. I stopped innovating and stopped reinventing. I thought, “I am happy now with where I am, why should I leave this place?” I stopped learning and experimenting new things. Then I realized, what I have achieved is minuscule compared to what I can still achieve.
Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful and content with God has blessed me with. Contentment is different with being comfortable. Look at it this way, if you got blessed with an awesome house and in it was everything you need – a comfy sofa & bed, a big TV and a fridge full of food – wouldn’t you feel happy and content? Of course you will. But don’t lock yourself inside that house when outside of that house there is still a lot to do and so much to explore. On the other hand, you don’t have to be like Mother Teresa or Elon Musk. The universe doesn’t expect you to stop the war in Syria, to invent the cure for cancer or to a millionaire by 40. The littlest deed or the littlest idea can make the world a better place. Sitting pretty and being stagnant is different from moving forward one step at a time.
I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. And because of them, I will strive to be a better person. Seeing my children tells me there is still a lot more I can do. God still has a lot of things in store ahead and it is time to pack the bag and leave my comfort zone. The journey doesn’t stop here.
Never stop growing. Never stop learning. Don’t stop moving forward. Reach new heights. One is never too old to set bigger goals.
P.S. And to my family and team, thank you for throwing that really surprising birthday party with my faves – ice scramble, fish ball, etc!
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