6 Ways Successful People Stretch Their Comfort Zones

Business & Money

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources, and insights to entrepreneurs and business ownersThe article below was originally published at Inc.com.

Everyone has a so-called “comfort zone.” You know what I’m talking about: that mental space you live in where there are boundaries and you feel a sense of emotional security with your work and your decision making.

What distinguishes successful people from everyone else is what they do with their comfort zone. There are those who are perfectly happy staying warm and cozy in this safe box they’ve built; and then are those who constantly push and test the limits.

You already know which person goes on to be a successful entrepreneur.

(MORE: 3 Signs You’re Meant to Be a Leader)

Now I’m not suggesting that the comfort zone is a bad thing. It’s there for a reason: to…

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Eurotrip Step 1: VISA

So this is what’s keeping me busy these past few months. We’re planning a Eurotour!

My high school friends N, MM, M, C and I are going to Europe this August! It’s C’s wedding, you see, and she’s getting married in Mettray, France. So the three of us based in Asia, N, MM and I, decided to go on a Eurotour after the wedding. Too bad S can’t join us. M, on the other hand, will be coming from San Francisco.

We hatched this plan in January, and made plans since. MM and I went to the Manila Travel Expo last February and managed to buy roundtrip tickets to Paris from Manila for USD828.10 with Malaysia Airlines! At that time, the exchange rate (USD-PHP) was just in the 41-42 level, so it was just about PHP33k (however, with credit card charges, I think I paid PHP34k. Here’s a tip, local bank issued credit cards have a lower charge for USD purchases). We’re planning the whole trip ourselves, so we used Booking.com for our hotel bookings. I have to note that our flight booking can be cancelled (for a fee), which was great because at that point we didn’t know whether we will be granted visas.

As Filipinos, we know that probably the hardest part in planning a trip to Europe (apart from saving enough money, of course) is getting a visa. So this post details what MM and I did to get our visas.

In the travel expo, we went to the RAJAH TRAVEL booth and inquired. I also called up other travel agencies but we decided to go with Rajah.

The Schengen visa allows you to enter the 27 countries of the European Union with only one visa. You have to get the visa at the country where you will be staying longest, in our case, France. 

I managed to talk to Regina of Rajah, and she gave me all the requirements for the French visa, which are the following: passport, filled out application form, 2 passport sized pictures with white background, letter of intent, certificate of employment stating the position, tenure, gross annual income and approved leave, bank certification, credit card statement, income tax return, travel insurance, hotel certificates, and flight itinerary. I asked Regina if she could schedule me for an interview, and she asked for a scanned copy of my passport and application form. With these two documents, I was scheduled for an interview in 3 weeks, or on 20 May 2013.

A week before my interview, I was asked by Regina to submit all the other documents. The lacking documents, I just scanned them and emailed them later. The reason for this is that they will arrange the documents and check if there was anything lacking. 

On the day of the interview, I was requested to meet the Rajah representative Carlo 30 minutes before my appointment at Starbucks in Pacific Star. He was busy! Apparently, he was assisting 9 other interviewees that same morning. Anyway, what he did was give us the visa fee (which was prepaid to Rajah when I submitted my documents), and the documents which were already neatly arranged in an envelope. He explained that there will be 2 submissions of documents and the papers were already segregated.

So we (I was scheduled with two other Rajah clients, cousins B and B) were escorted to the French Embassy. We entered and were given a number for the payment. The waiting room was packed, but there were seats for almost everyone. There were 5 windows, with window 4 acting as the “cashier” window, and the others were “interview” windows. You can actually hear some of the conversations between embassy official and applicant, which is good, in a way, because you can prepare. The number was called, and we paid and gave the first set of documents (which included the application form, travel itinerary and hotel vouchers). We sat down again and waited for our names to be called.

When my name was called, I gave the second set of documents (financial and work-related), and my fingerprints and picture were taken. The embassy officer (I think she’s Filipina) asked only the following questions: (1) So you work at the —-? (2) And you work there as —? (3) Who are you travelling with? (4) Why were you not interviewed together? <to which I answered “She had difficulty arranging her interview” – which was true! MM was scheduled for interview the following week>. I thought I did well, I mean it wasn’t really a tough interview. I authorised Rajah to get my passport and visa for me, which I got the following week , 29 May. I was granted a 2 month visa. 

My total cost (visa fee, service fee, and travel insurance) is PHP9,377.08.

RAJAH TRAVEL is located at Gercon Plaza, Makati Ave., Makati City. You can contact Regina at +6328940886, or email them at documentationmkt@rajahtravel.com.

Movie catch-up time!

Wow. It has been a while! I really cannot explain what happened, it’s just time went by so fast, that I was not able to update (even my travels). Also, I have not been good at the watching movies bit.

From March to present, I was unable to keep up with my schedule. We had relatives from US stay over, and we also had to take them around, so March and April was crazy-busy. May, I did not really have an excuse, I just got lazy I guess. Anyway, here is my list. I think I would not be able to meet my quota by year-end. I don’t know, let’s see.

58. A Few Good Men

59. Chungking Express

60. The Searchers

61. High Noon

62. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

63. Unforgiven

64. Rise of the Guardians

65. Smashed

66. What to Expect When You’re Expecting

67. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

68. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

69. Month Python: Life of Brian

70. Anna Karenina (2012)

71. Playing for Keeps

72. Gone Baby Gone

73. Star Wars: A New Hope

74. Run Fatboy Run

75. American Beauty

76. Taxi Driver

77. Vertigo

78. RED

79. Silence of the Lambs

80. No Country for Old Men

81. Shutter

82. Dazed and Confused

83. Gangs of New York

84. This is 40

85. Brother Sun, Sister Moon

86. Hot Tub Time Machine

87. The Girl Next Door

88. West Side Story

89. Being John Malkovich

90. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

91. Grease

92. Dark Shadows

93. It Takes a Man and a Woman

94: Stranger than Fiction

95. The Back-Up Plan

96. The Master

97. Requiem for a Dream

98. Inglourious Basterds

99. Memento

100. It’s a Wonderful Life

101. Prometheus

102. The Guilt Trip

103. Ironman 3

104. Happythankyoumoreplease

105. Up in the Air

106. Burn After Reading

107. Shame

108. Movie 43 (super thrashy comedy. It’s SOOO BAD, I say this should be BANNED)

109. To Kill a Mockingbird (watched the same day as Movie 43, to compensate for my dead brain cells)

110. The Grapes of Wrath (still compensating)

111. Leap Year

112. Sullivan’s Travels

113. Psycho

114. Back to the Future 1

115. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

116. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

117. Lawrence of Arabia

118. The Paperboy

119. Hable con Ellan

120. Seven Samurai

121. I Give it a Year

122. Pineapple Express

123. Tootsie

124. Thank You for Smoking

125. Warm Bodies

126. The Best Years of Our Lives

127. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

128. Crash

129. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

130. Oz: The Great and the Powerful

131. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

132. The Treasure of Sierra Madre

133. Moonrise Kingdom

134. Leon: The Professional

135. Road to Perdition

136. Skyfall (unexpected Sam Mendes day – with Road to Perdition)

137. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (something all lawmakers should watch)

138. Wings of Desire

Whew! So there goes my mid-year update haha. Next entry, I’ll talk about what kept me busy these past few weeks, my Eurotrip!