Challenge yourself and you will reach your full potential!

You´ve heard it many times before but let´s repeat the mantra: “Learn about new cultures, network. Get out of your comfort zone – that´s where the real magic happens!”. But what does that really mean?

A man is sitting with his suitcase watching a plane flying outside the window.
Make sure to get out of your comfort zone once in a while! Do it by traveling. Photo by jeshoots.comCC BY

Surveys show again and again that we are lazy monkeys. We’d rather be braindead than actively challenging ourselves. Why? Because the brain needs so much energy and is already busy processing daily impressions. So naturally, it doesn’t want to make any more effort than what’s needed. By staying inside of your comfort zone, your brain basically says “sweet, now stay there!”

In an ever-changing environment with constant new impressions, no wonder our brain is in need of an exclusive five-star retreat where it can recharge its batteries. It needs a place where it does not need to figure anything out.

Group of people crossing the road in Japan
Our brain needs to shut down every now and then in order to survive an ever-changing environment with new impressions.  Photo by Ryoji Iwata / CC BY

Think of your comfort zone to be a dartboard. You know the red circle in the middle? Yeah, that´s it! The further away you get from the bull’s eye the more frightening it gets. A pretty good explanation of life in a nutshell I must say! But do you get what I´m saying? No? Ok, let´s put it like this: something that is predictable, that causes no mental or emotional stress, well, that is your comfort zone.

You might also be interested in: 5 Ways Studying Abroad Changes You

Being stuck within the comfort walls you’ve built up will not help you reach your full potential. Do you want to become the very best of you? If yes, then let me give you a little tip: start traveling. Get out there. See the world! It will at least put you on the right track in life.

Let´s leave the boring facts out. The kind of “11 reasons why..” facts. Instead, I will use myself as an example. Heavy stuff, let´s get into it!

Man is making a top turn on a wave in Indnesia during sunset
You can find some of the best waves in the world in Indonesia. Photo by Teddy KelleyCC BY

Ever since I was 15 I dreamt of dancing salsa to the rhythms of a catchy Latino song in a dodgy place somewhere in Cuba. I dreamt of diving with some of the most spectacular marine animals at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I dreamt of becoming that hippie guy who conquers some of the best waves in Indonesia.

Did I follow my dreams? Yes! After 4 years on the road, I managed to visit 17 different countries. What did I learn? I learned to appreciate myself and become humbler towards life. I learned to speak two new languages fluently. I got an understanding of which strengths and weaknesses I have. But most importantly, I figured out what I want to do with my life. My travels were like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. Damn, that´s deep!

Group of students walking on the campus in Bali.
Studying abroad can expand your horizon. Photo by Fabian Munoz Humeres / CC BY

To say you should travel for four years until you’ve reached mecca is a little too much to ask. You can easily get a life-changing experience just by spending half a year studying abroad.

Studying abroad will make you more independent and it will expand your world views tremendously. You will discover new cultures, explore new places, and make friends from all over the world. Tell me, what´s a better way of getting out of your comfort zone than this? Take the chance now before it´s too late and I can promise you that magic will happen!

Find out more about studying in Asia or Asia Pacific

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you!

This article was made by our marketing coordinator Fabian!

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