In 2017 I uprooted my young family and moved 3000 miles west from New York to San Francisco.
There were some sound business reasons for doing it, which I covered in a blog at the time.
And from a business perspective, the decision to move to San Francisco has proven to be a very good one.
But the biggest benefit both to me and the company is intangible, unmeasurable and hard to define or describe.
We enjoyed a wonderful life in New York. From a personal perspective, there wasn’t a strong driver to move. Life was objectively good: we lived well and work was ticking-along nicely.
But I recognised a growing sense of comfort and familiarity with the quotidian. In hindsight, this led to a sort of mental numbness, and a lazy acceptance of the status quo.
In making the move to San Francisco, I feel like I’ve totally disrupted my consciousness. It’s forced me out of my comfort zone.
The new physical environment, the new routines, the new culture, the new people have proven mentally stimulating and invigorating.
As a result, I feel mentally sharper, more creative and I’ve met some fascinating new people and been exposed to some interesting new perspectives.
This has directly led to some exciting new thinking about my business and personal trajectory, and and has informed some significant (and surprising) decisions.
I heard an interesting aphorism recently that nicely captures my belief in the importance of making oneself uncomfortable occasionally:
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
The next challenge for me is to figure out how to courageously effect a life-expanding change, without having to relocate somewhere.