GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Richard Haggerty | February 23, 2016

‘And Number 19 Goes to…’

Haggerty-Richard_squareSome people’s glasses are half full, other’s half empty. Mine? Well let’s just say I’m more worried about the expiration date. It’s easy for us to just stay in our comfort zones. However, by following our regular patterns and customs, we sometimes eliminate other possibilities.

A couple of weekends ago it was Broadway night at our house, almost a monthly ritual for us. We head to the TKTS line (discounted Broadway tickets located in Times Square) and roll the dice that one of our must see shows is up on the list. This particular evening my partner suggested playing the Hamilton lottery beforehand. Haven’t heard of Hamilton? It’s the hottest show in town. A musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton set to rap (say what?!?).

I know, that sounds like a very odd combination, but the show has become an instant classic. About the only way to get a ticket to this show is to spend hundreds of dollars per ticket months in advance or win that other Mega lottery everyone has been talking about lately. Every night before the show the theater management conduct their own lottery for a chance at 21 front row seats for $10 each, cash. They’ve tried to conduct the lottery via an online website but the site gets so much traffic it keeps crashing.

Your odds at winning? Well let’s just say that when I saw the line for the lottery wrapping around the block I thought I’d stand a better chance winning Mega Millions. That particular night we were told that there were more than 1,300 people in line to submit their name on a piece of paper for the chance at two tickets. My initial reaction? Run! Don’t even bother! Waste of time! This is seriously going to cut into my pre theater drink ritual. However, out of fear of rebuttal from my partner who was already a regular at this routine in quest of the coveted “H” ticket, I sucked it up and tried, only partially successfully, to hide my reservations.

That is until they called ticket #19. “Richard……Kyle……” Are you kidding me? In an instant I transformed from my doubting adult self to the kid who just won Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket urged on by a crowd that displayed a commendable amount of karma in their cheering as their chances diminished. I paid the $20 for two tickets, showed them a photo ID and they affixed a wristband to my arm—I later learned to make sure that I didn’t scalp the tickets for big bucks.

I know I’m not being very subtle with this tale. The obvious moral of the story is that the benefit of taking chances far outweighs the lethargy of always staying in our comfort zone. Sometimes it pays off to venture out, try for the impossible and take a risk. Your life may be richer for it.

Oh, and by the way, Hamilton was awesome.

Richard Haggerty