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Beating the Odds

Sacha Baron Cohen and You

Sacha Baron Cohen did more than pull the prank of the night at last night’s Oscars.

By dumping the supposed ashes of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il all over Ryan Seacrest, Cohen gave us all a peek into where greatness comes from — outside the comfort zone.

“The skills and actions you need to be the (performer) you want to be lie outside your current comfort zone,” says peak performance expert Dave Cross, who adds that winners have an “ever-growing comfort zone.”

Most people could never have done what Cohen did. They are too shy, too cautious. Greatness must be brave, and great performers push the envelope of effort, skill and daring.

“It keeps things exciting,” Mark Foster of Foster the People said. “I love when people do something outside the box.”

To really improve at anything, you must work slightly outside your comfort zone. Otherwise, you’re practicing things you already know. If you’re working on your basketball free throws, try to make more than you made yesterday. Force yourself to start over if you miss. That’s deliberate practice. Do anything to expand your comfort zone.

There’s a saying that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. If you want to get what other people want, you must do things they are not willing to do. That means working outside the comfort zone.

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it,” said Goethe.

So can you!

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