Link to the talk:


  • What makes you comfortable can ruin you, and only in a state of discomfort can you continually grow.
  • the concept the “Growth Rings”
  • The Growth Rings represent living environments that promote or hinder growth, and that includes everything from your place of work.For even a fish bowl, what dictates the size of a gold fish is its environment, and while this goldfish lives in a very safe environment it’s also very limiting in most every way. And when placed in a more robust environment, like say a small pond,  this can be the result – now it also means he could be eaten. But friends, this is you — the environments in which you work, live and play they’re all are a proverbial fish bowl that dictates your growth.Screenshot from 2017-04-12 08-54-12.png
  • The first Growth Ring represents a low performing, low growth environment called Stagnation. Stagnation is understood by having to follow too many steps, and permissions and minutia that stifles creativity, independent thought and action. To imagine an environment such as this, think no further than our state and federal governments.
  • Now the antithesis of stagnation is chaos, also low growth and low performing, chaos can be caused by internal or external events or conditions. We see chaos occur at times in business mergers, natural disasters, and horrific events like 9–11. Chaos is having zero predictability or control over inputs and outcomes.
  • Next to Stagnation is the most desirable environment, Order. Order is knowing that what you do or what is happening in your environment leads to a predictable outcome, and in predictability comfort is found. But comfort, is also what makes Order so dangerous, because science shows that any time you continually do something or even think about something the same way, you will eventually stop growing. And this applies to every living thing — even our dog.
  • Growth ONLY occurs in a state of discomfort.
  • Complexity is nothing more than changed Order, but when your Order is changed outcomes are no longer predictable, and it’s unpredictability that makes you uncomfortable. And while most times your visceral response to discomfort is not just “no”, but “hell no”, you can actually learn how empowering it is to consciously acknowledge discomfort. And then when appropriate, choose Complexity over Order. And I know seeking discomfort sounds odd and not people do it, but you have to learn to embrace it, because it’s the only environment where sustained or exponential growth can occur.
  • How to bring complexity and chaos in your life to grow:
    • Complexity trigger #1  –  Is it can be forced upon you
    • Complexity trigger #2  –  Someone can help you get there
    • Complexity trigger #3  –  trigger it yourself
  • “The constant façade of order hides the wilderness that is craving to seep out and teach us that life wasn’t created to be what we think it is. Beyond words we must experience the wilderness to be taught what cannot be otherwise known.”                                                                                                                             –Dr. Serene Jones