Comfort is the Enemy of Achievement

Reli Cohen left the comfort of her job as a news journalist in Israel to pursuit a one-year adventure across the United States. She left with nothing but a laptop and a backpack. Read more.

NEW YORK CITY, NY–Most of us live our daily life as a determined routine.

It’s so easy to do so, just go with the flow. As a captured baby born, we grow up and live our life where life circumstances brought us to. We hang out with our friends from high school, we like t o go out to the same restaurant across the corner and order our favorite dish there. We even watch the same TV shows wit h our favorite stars. But what if we will break this chain and try something new? How can we know that this new thing will be better for us?

The answer is that we have to try to figure it out.

“Comfort is the enemy of achievement,” I read once on a refrigerator magnet. This is so true.

A decision like that, to change my life and try something new, I did a few years ago. I decided to resign from my old job as a news journalist in Jerusalem, Israel and go on a one year journey across the United States. I traveled with nothing but a laptop and a backpack, all by myself. I had the great opportunity to have the most amazing experiences of my life.

Among those adventures I mostly remember my random meeting with a state senate candidate during the 2008 U.S.A elections in Denver that led to a lifetime bond, my brave friendship with an 18-year-old female stripper at a hostel in San Fransisco, and my tourist romance with a cute native American guy in Alaska. That year was the best year of my life.

Fact is that none of this would have happen if it wasn’t for my ability to communicate in English as a second language (in addition to my native one, which is Hebrew). But this is just a small personal example. On the wider point of view, can you imagine our current global world without the ability to communicate with each other in different languages? Working online, writing emails, even doing “LIKE” on Facebook or watching TV series such as “Friends”? It is really hard to. All requires English.

With no doubt, knowing another language these days, especially English, but also any other, opens up for you a whole new world of opportunities. On the fun aspect of it, it can help you order your favorite dish in the restaurant while you are in vacation, getting the right directions to the closest tourist at traction you were looking for and becoming friends with the locals. On the more serious aspect of it, such as your career goals, it can upgrade tremendously your ability to succeed.

Our current “Global Village” world forces us to know other languages so that we will be able t o keep up successfully with it’s fast development. The best international companies, online and offline, all requires the knowledge of writing and speaking English. Moreover, If you want to be able to understand what’s happening in the world today, keep track of current events that has direct influence on your life wherever you live on this planet, you have to know English.

Studying abroad in the United States, in my opinion, is the best way to improve your English. I am confident that when I’ll go back to my country, Israel, I’ll be able to be an appropriate leading candidate to almost any kind of new job opening in so many fields, just thanks to the fact that by then I will know English almost as an American. Writing papers for my university, hearing lectures, communicating with my classmates and experience daily “American English” life as a whole also out side from the class, will no doubt help me achieve my career goals to work in a successful international company in any position, especially in the field that I am most interested in, which is media.

Article written by Reli Cohen

Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus

New York City, New York

Home Country: Israel

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  1. Experiencing un-comfort or discomfort, experiencing new and learning from it, daring to challenge your old reality, maybe the best decision you can make in your life. Saying this is my life, and I can make it worthwhile, that’s courageous!

  2. Yes, I completely agree. No one can determine your limits but yourself. I had such a fear of drowning/water after a freak accident while snorkeling. I still remember clearly the day that i almost drowned. You know what i did to overcome my fear finally? I enrolled in Scuba Diving class at my university this semester. Has only been 3 weeks, haven’t passed my water-maneuverability test, but I am damn sure i will conquer my fear by the time this semester ends.

  3. Preteesh, go for it! I applaud your initiative!

  4. I definitely enjoyed reading about Reli’s unexpected encounters with the stripper, state senate candidate, and the romance in Alaska. You have an adventurous spirit and great courage. I also think that sometime timing is everything. You were fortunate enough to have to take such risks at a young age, where as others would want to get out of the comfort zone but due to family obligations, financial situations or visas limitations cannot get out of that “comfort” which might not be that comfortable after all. I hope this story inspires other young people and students to do study abroad and take advantage to overseas travel and study opportunities presented to them.

  5. Reli, Thanks for sharing your story. Although I am an American, I can relate to your experiences as I have studied abroad in Spain and have been living in Northern Ireland for nearly a year and a half. Although, I am not fluent in Spanish, or any other language, my most memorable years have been through my international experiences. I remember riding on a train heading to Madrid and sitting behind two older gentlemen: one was French, the other Italian. I was mesmerized by their ability to communicate with each other through a language that was not either of their native languages. They communicated with each other in Spanish. I’m not sure why it didn’t click with me until then, but knowing another language doesn’t just enhance your personal abilities, but it does open up a whole new world to you. With the simple fact of being able to communicate with others who speak another language from your native language, it can certainly help you professionally in this ever-expanding global business world, but it also opens up the opportunity to increase your circle of friends, global knowledge and respect and acceptance for others. We all know that the relationships we make and build upon play a huge role in our happiness, wholeness and meaning as an individual and can help share the people we become. Learning another language and spending time outside of your comfort zone in another country can benefit you in various ways, as well as those around you. Please keep ISV Magazine and its readers in the loop with your next adventure or lessons learned from your experiences abroad! Best of luck with your future endeavors!

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