OOOCZ Day! – Guest Blog

OOOCZ Day! – Guest Blog


Thank you to Lenny Houweling for this amazing guest blog post!

Let’s set the stage. It’s two days before Mother’s Day. I am invited into a secret family meeting by my four children (no moms allowed) to plan the upcoming special day.

I observed quietly as my two eldest daughters carefully made clear to the group their own intentions of what should happen.  My two sons offered their thoughts of video games and bubbles. After several minutes, I naturally jumped in and did what I do best…facilitate! It was not difficult to help the group see that all of their plans could be executed perfectly, and that it was the mere 24 hours in one day that limited us from achieving total AWESOMENESS! The final details were ironed out and operation “Mom’s Weekend Off” was set.

The simplicity of it all was incredible! Keep mom from doing any activity that she normally “has” to do, and let her do whatever she “wants” to do. Since our kids were already very familiar with chores, the only other thing I had to do was keep our angels away from her. Naturally this meant taking them out of the house as my sweet wife prefers simple solitude as a healing tool. I am a man of chaos, and I soon recognized that being out with all four kids meant play time!

It is not uncommon for me to stretch those who hang out with me, and so I took the opportunity to do so with the kiddos. This was a day later dubbed “OOOCZ”, which was to get “Out Of Our Comfort Zone”. I challenged each of my children to do something they would not normally do by simply letting them run the day. I had the privilege of watching them live, and in doing so, face things that were outside their comfort zone. My oldest is 12 going on 18, and she had to laugh out loud in public. My shy daughter had to order us all food at the restaurant. My quiet and determined son was challenged to speak directly to a person in need, and I too faced my fear of letting them navigate the shopping mall on their own. ????

While talking with a really good friend today about this awesome exercise, I was asked what sort of things are out of my comfort zone? I must admit it made me think. Where are my limitations? What habit am I allowing to exist in my life that could paralyze me from moving forward? I didn’t know the answer. It made me wonder how many other people are unaware of what makes them uncomfortable?

As I think about that question, I reflect on the OOOCZ events and I realize that the opportunity lies beyond our ability to recognize it. It is not until we are actually challenged, or challenging ourselves to do something we wouldn’t normally do, that we decide whether we actually do it. The lesson is that in order to get OOOCZ, we need to make an intentional choice to push ourselves to do new things…ALWAYS. If you don’t, you’re not living. I invite you to live! What are you doing to get OOOCZ?


Lenny Houweling
Kaizen Initiatives Inc