I think we all want to “fit-in” somewhere in life at some point.
Maybe it’s with a particular crowd we think are “cool.”
Maybe it’s where we think we can have the most impact on people. Or make the most money.
But where we really need to “fit-in” is exactly where we were created to be.
Redefining the Term
Traditionally, the term “fitting-in” meant conforming to the ways of a particular group in order to be accepted. It still works that way for many people.
But for those of us that wish to make an impact, we want to be weird.
We want to be outsiders and make our mark. I once heard a quote from Michael Hyatt that really stuck with me. It went something like this.
“If you want to really grow, you need to get outside of your comfort zone. Which is, by the way, where all the really interesting stuff happens.”
If we do this, or are forced to do this, we’ll become someone we likely never imagined. Eventually, we’re more likely to “fit-in” exactly where we’re supposed to be.
A “Briefing” of My Story
I was engulfed in the world of sports. It was all I had ever known and all I ever wanted to do. It was my comfort zone and I was quite good at most everything I tried. That was little league though and I likely wouldn’t have made it any further than high school, maybe college.
But it was all I knew. I remember playing baseball in the backyard with several friends for hours on end. And the next week, we’d do the same with basketball, then hockey, then football. You get the point.
And then I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Long QT. I was only 12, but would need a pacemaker immediately and had to stop all competive and contact sports. Which, for me, was everything. I mean, removing competitive was like decaf coffee. Get my point?
You may have read my story I posted a few weeks ago and heard some of this before. But there’s more to this that I never shared before. The reason I’m sharing it now is because I want to make a point about something that forced me outside my comfort zone, “where all the really interesting stuff happens.”
About 3 years later, almost to the date, I got a staph infection. To this day we have no idea how but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was perfectly fine when I stepped into the shower that night and 5 minutes later, I barely crawled out with enough strength to yell for my mom.
The next 6 weeks were a blur with 5 surgeries at 2 different hospitals. My life was pretty much in shambles in terms of what a teenager *should* or *could* be doing.
But it gave me one of the best experiences I could have ever imagined. It showed me a life lesson that I carry with me to this very moment and, really, one of the main reason’s I’m here today.
It forced me out of my comfort zone so something really interesting could happen.
I had a teacher that poured her life out for me. She helped me to get through that semester with not only her class, but with all of them. She would come to my house after school, bring me homework, and tutor me for a couple hours almost every night. This was outside of her workload and she got paid nothing extra to do this.
She very well may have been the catalyst for why I’ve always wanted to make an impact in people’s lives. I remember thinking about sharing my testimony with people when I got older. Somehow, I wanted to use my experiences to add and help guide other people’s lives. I wasn’t sure, until recently, how I was to go about doing that though.
What comes from this is one thing. We are all called to do something awesome. We, here in this community, are just about the business of doing that.
Our passions and our dreams will impact each other’s lives to a degree we can’t fathom in that moment. They will change the world. They will shape lives. They will save lives.
Where It Put Me
In saying all that, it likely makes you wonder how I can relate my writing and design work to those experiences. You see, I never would have stopped sports long enough to discover my interest for computers. Which led to websites, which led to reading, then blogging and into discovering how I can help people along my journey.
Am I truly doing that yet? I honestly don’t know. I’ve only just begun this journey of sharing my story and where I’ve been to help others. Time will tell if I’m truly living in my sweet spot.
As of now:
My name is Jared Latigo and I want to help you understand you were put here to do something awesome!
So I urge you to get out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve been forced out, that’s okay too. But think about an experience you’ve had. Maybe recent, maybe supressed. But think about a time in your life when you grew immensely and it helped to shape who you are today.
I’ll venture to say that moment was something outside of your perfect picture life. I’ll venture to say it stretched you and molded you in ways you didn’t realize until weeks, months or years later.
Share it with us. We’re all about growing here and using our gift to change the world.
You had one great teacher Jared.
Love that quote by Michael. Funny thing, we often fight to stay within our comfort zone even though what we really want is an interesting life.
Personally I’m learning to make a home outside of my comfort zone. It gets easier after a while
Ha! Awesome way to go about it Mike!
Thanks for reading Ngina! Yes, she was awesome. I still have some contact with her from time to time.
What an awesome eye opener Jared!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Jeremy, that was an epic article. Thanks for sharing your heart and your story. Stories like that are powerful ammo. Keep it up, my friend!
Thanks Charles, appreciate your stopping by!
You’re right man. Other than the obstacles you have had to overcome (which I’m glad you have used the unfortunate experience to reach for something better), I was the same way. I was always a sports fan and loved playing football, basketball, and mostly baseball with my friends. It was all about sports for me.
Unfortunately, I got drunk one night and fell on my shoulder, it was never the same. I now can only throw so much before it hurts too much to continue. ( no self pity). That when I was about 16. From then on, I got turned on to partying and experimented with many things that I am not proud of.
However, it led me to where I am today and to the message I want to spread to the world. That anything is possible so we should follow our dreams and passions. Use them to help others, as human connection is the key to everything. Anyway, just wanted to say it was good to meet you. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for sharing Justin. Yeah, we’ve all been through something that’s put to where we’re at today. Some go through more than others but mostly it’s the way the situation is handled, I think anyway. Looking forward to connecting more, I love that we have such a similar outlook on life!