I read the book summary of Hit Refresh recently. It’s an autobiography of Satya Nadella, the third CEO of Microsoft. It tells the story of how the young Nadella was obsessed with cricket and wanted to become a professional player. On the side, he also developed an interest in personal computing.

He enrolled in an institute in India and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Realizing that being a professional cricket player was not for him, he then decided to follow his interest in personal computing.

He was at a crossroad at that time: should he stay in his comfort zone or step out of it?

For him, staying in his comfort zone meant staying in his native India and taking a ‘normal’ job. Stepping out of his comfort zone, on the other hand, meant leaving his homeland to study in the U.S.

He eventually did the latter. He filed a visa application without much hope that he would be accepted. But he was! So he went to the U.S. for his master’s degree.

This was a turning point in his life. If he didn’t make this decision to step out of his comfort zone, the incredible things that followed wouldn’t happen. But he did. He made the leap of faith.

He didn’t stop there, though. After being at Microsoft for a few years, he wanted to enroll in a business school. He didn’t want to risk his position at the company, so he made his plan a secret. What did he do? He worked a regular 5-day job in Redmond and flew to Chicago every weekend to attend his classes!

Once again, this shows his willingness to step out of his comfort zone and take risks. He took the leap of faith and made the sacrifice to further advance himself. He later considered his two years at the business school formative; they laid the foundation for his rapid rise at Microsoft.

Nadella’s story shows the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and take risks. You should have the necessary cushion, of course. But you should have the willingness to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in your life. Are you willing to do it?

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Donald Latumahina – lifeoptimizer / Photo by Anda Ambrosini on Unsplash

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