Stretching My Comfort Zone

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Blog, Creative Process, Graphic Design | 3 comments

(Scroll down for a collection of “quotes, quips and words of wisdom” on Adversity)

The quotes above, from The Designer Says, were standouts to me. They made me want to thank the clients who have pushed me out of my comfort zone into alien territory. The ones who have sent me scampering up all kinds of learning curves and challenged me as a designer. You know who you are.

Since my 20’s I’ve had a personal philosophy about seeking out challenge, believing it would help prepare me for those challenges I did NOT seek. And I’d say it’s worked pretty well.

I hitchhiked through Latin America for three months at 21. I went for a Master’s degree at 33. Post-divorce I moved from Austin, Texas to Napa Valley, California where I didn’t know a soul. At 40 I white water rafted and mountaineered through Oregon for two weeks with Outward Bound. At 42 I launched a graphic design business, and at 47 made the jump to Kauai. Though I am much less demanding of myself these days, I still don’t let myself get too comfortable. I still like a good challenge.

Who would have thought graphic design could be one’s means of ‘pushing the envelope?’ I know it keeps me on my feet and stretching continuously. So thanks to you client visionaries who hold to your visions until I can meet you there. It’s collaboration at its best!


  • You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.  (Golda Meir)
  • A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • Crisis doesn’t develop character, crisis reveals character.  (unknown)
  • Life is trouble. Only death is not.  (Zorba)
  • It’s only as bad as you make it.  (Benjamin Carey)
  • Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.  (African proverb)
  • He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.  (Ben Johnson)
  • The gem cannot be polished without friction.  (Chinese proverb)
  • What does not kill me only makes me stronger.  (Friedrich Nietzsche)
  • A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.  (Helen Keller)
  • The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.  (unknown)
  • If you face the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.  (Anais Nin)
  • Fears are the little darkrooms where negatives are developed.  (Michael Pritchard)
  • Then the day came when the risk to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  (Anais Nin)
  • Adversity introduces a man to himself.  (Albert Einstein)
  • There is no education like adversity.  (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.  (Solon)
  • One thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. (Haruki Murakami)
  • Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.  (Napoleon Hill)
  • It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.  (Seneca)
  • One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.  (Andre Gide)
  • If you’re going through hell, keep going.  (Winston Churchill)
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.  (Henry Ford)
  • A diamond is a chunk of coal that is made good under pressure.  (Henry Kissinger)
  • A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.  (John Burroughs)
  • If a man carries his own light with him he need not be afraid of any darkness.  (Martin Buber)
  • When it’s dark enough you can see the stars.  (Charles A. Beard)
  • In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me invincible summer.  (Albert Camus)
  • Life by the yard is awfully hard. But by the inch, it’s a cinch.  (Ann Landers)
  • Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.  (Walt Whitman)
  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.  (Charles Darwin)
  • Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.  
(Kahlil Gibran)
  • Do not be afraid of tomorrow; for God is already there.  (unknown)
  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.  (Winston Churchill)
  • I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.  (Carl Jung)
  • You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself 
any direction you choose.

  (Dr. Seuss)
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.  (Steve Jobs)
  • Because the road was steep and long, and through a dark and lonely land, God set upon my lips a song, and put a lantern in my hand.  (Joyce Kilmer)

Click here for a print resolution pdf of these quotes.


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3 responses to “Stretching My Comfort Zone”

  1. Morris Wise says:

    I really enjoyed reading the quotes, they are inspirational and have left me wondering where I can push myself further. I particularly like the Saul Bass quote in the top banner. I am now musical director for the HCT production of Les Miserable. As I undertake this challenge, I definitely feel like the blank page is terrifying, but I know that once I start to “write” on the page of this production, the “words will flow” metaphorically and create a beautiful production with the rest of the team. Thanks for the reminder to go for it, face the fear and grow!

    • linda says:

      Enjoy the unfolding Morris…yet another opportunity to practice being centered in uncertainty and trusting the process. YOU have been one of the visionaries who pushes me to expand my skills. Thanks for that, and for your response.

  2. Best Ecig says:

    Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!|

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