The Other Side of Easy

One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.

~Abraham Maslow

The world is changing – We are changing – And as it should be.

We have experienced a range of emotional charges and physical limitations in this past year; individually and collectively. We have seen the dark underbelly of humanity and have been witness to the birth of hope and possibility.

We have been asked to slow down, take a breath, and look inward. Do we really want things to stay as they were?

Do we resist all that is happening? Or is it a chance to surrender to this moment as it is and find a window of awareness? And maybe is it an opportunity to ‘dare’ ourselves to move in another direction.

I read an article by Brian Kelly that talked about how our greatness exists outside of our comfort zone. It is about moving from your COMFORT ZONE to your GROWTH ZONE. How can we navigate from one to the other? It is moving from what’s comfortable to the uncomfortable. It is having the insight, courage, and motivation to see that there is something greater on the other side of easy.

If this is where our greatness lives, we must find a way there.

The time has come, and it is NOW – The time for us to reimagine and reinvent ourselves and our communities. It is a time for reflection and introspection and reawaken our sense of curiosity.

Let’s ask ourselves 5 questions

  1. What are your hopes for the coming year? For you, your family, the community or the world?
  2. What is it that feeds your soul and brings you joy?
  3. What do you want to do that you have not done before?
  4. How do you want to show up in the world? And what will you do differently?
  5. What do you want to create? What do you want to do that brings you alive – really alive?

A mentor once shared with me one of the simplest life lessons ever. She said it’s as simple as identifying “It and Not It”. We are looking for the ‘it’ factor. It is a feeling we have in a scenario, experience or task. It is that feeling of pure joy from the inside out. It is that feeling where you come alive in your own breathing – it is a knowing at a soul level. It feels good and you know it is the truth of your being. That is the ‘it’ factor. Once you find (feel) it – do more of that.

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.

~Steve Maraboli

This year will be our year to create a new fundamental anchor that will ground us as we grow. We need to stand tall, find our faith, and speak our truth in a voice that can be heard across the land.

Now is the time … and here we are… We all have choices… Let’s choose to make a difference in our own lives and in our communities… Let’s choose and let us choose powerfully.

It is our time to shine our light brighter than ever. The world needs you – We need each other.

Thank you 2020 for the experience, it was a game-changer.

Let’s do this 2021 = We are here stronger than ever and we are doing this together’

As proudly featured within the epic HOPEFEST 360° worldwide broadcast.


Carolyn Lebanowski
Carolyn Lebanowski
She began her professional career in retail and grew to become an experienced and respected senior-level executive with particular expertise in strategic development, organizational communication, and executive coaching. After nearly three decades of career growth in corporate organizational development, Carolyn was ready for a career change—and a life change. This led to a new role and the most challenging, enriching, and rewarding work of her life, as a Strategic Business Leader for nonprofit spiritual institutions. These roles provide her the opportunity to fuse the professional and the personal, aligning her business acumen with her spiritual identity and passion for the development of human potential—in her colleagues, her community, and herself. Carolyn is a writer who seeks above all to share from the heart. Her impulse to write began 20 years ago with letters to her children and grew into journaling that was unedited and life-affirming. Today she writes with a focus on raw, authentic experience, drawn from real life, to explore, express, and make sense of the pain and joy, struggles and triumphs, of life. In all her endeavors, she champions connection, integrity, and radical positivity.

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  1. I saw you making this speech in the Hopefest video, Carolyn. Thank you for sharing it with us here where there is better time to reflect and go back and reread.
    Like writing down things you are grateful for makes you notice more things to be grateful for, reflecting on what brings one joy can bring more joy into ones life. Simply because we notice it more.
    Thinking about doing something one hasn’t done before may lead to taking a different route than the usual one, getting food from a different take out, reading a book in a different genre,… and as neither of these activities are likely to kill anybody, perhaps some bigger new things are begging now that we have become more courageous.

    Training communication at Stanford, we were encouraged to move just a little out of the comfort zone at a time – 15% – because small successes encourages us to keep working while big failures may cause us to regress. But as our comfort zone expands, so does the 15% of the expanded zone and our steps can get bolder and bolder.

    • Love your words Charlotte – Thank YOU!
      As I am writing you, I am here in Portugal, starting a new life – a new way of being in the world. So I can only giggle to myself about moving outside of a comfort zone. Pretty sure I was at 15% and now at 115%! And loving every minute.

    • You are so right Frank! There is so much waiting for us on the other side of so many things.
      It begs the question.. what happens if we don’t move to the other side? Can we still be happy? Ummmmm… I think I know my answer, and it is complicated.

  2. Dear Carolyn,

    Such a powerful essay. Passionate, real, genuine concern, but delivering a concept of extending strength and kindness and stimulating the imagination as how we can change what we know can be changed and you are a fine example of the worthy mission that all of us engaged with Bizcatalyst360 are aware of. Hence the worthy initiatives spreading hope and togetherness, positivity and kindness.

    I found your essay so inspiring, Carolyn.

    Thank you.

    Championing Positivity, Empathy and Kindess