That question, and versions of that questions (When was the last time you did something new?), have been playing on repeat in my brain.
I first encountered the question on Facebook. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who posted it or why, but the question itself made an impact on me.
Sometimes we’re sitting around waiting for our lives to change for the better, and yet, we do nothing different.
We drive the same roads, shop in the same stores, frequent the same eateries, visit the same friends, work on the same hobbies…you get my point. We want change, but we don’t want to have to work for it.
I’m mostly talking about me, because I’m sure you’re all a bunch of dynamic readers who embrace a full life each day.
I know it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and I should say that ruts aren’t always bad. There’s a place for dependability, steadfastness, discipline, and routine. Those are right and good things that will take us far in life; however, when we never try or do anything new, it’s easy to become bored, complacent, lazy, and might I add even just a little bit depressed.
I don’t mean clinical depression, but that down-in-the-dumps feeling we all experience from time-to-time. You know?
Trying new things is good for us.
It often takes us outside of our comfort zone. It can make us feel accomplished. New experiences broaden our thinking, and push us in unexpected ways.
I think doing new things makes us generally happier. Now, I don’t want to get all scientific, because science isn’t my specialty, but I’ve done some reading and doing new things can lead to more good experiences, thus making us feel more fulfilled and happier.
Even if your new experience isn’t a good one, it’s still an experience.
I learned this lesson from my son. You see, he feels like in his short fourteen years, he’s had a lot of experiences compared to many of his peers. We’ve done a lot. We’ve moved a few times, and not right around the corner. I mean, we’ve gone from arctic to tropical and back again. We’re not world travelers and I think we lead pretty ordinary lives, but he feels like he’s had some experiences and they’ve helped him in life.
A few weeks ago, he ended up with five stitches in the side of his hand. He was working in the backyard with my husband and they were building a rock retaining wall. My husband flipped a rock and sadly, it landed on my son’s hand. It was like a real-life game of rock, paper, scissors, only my son chose hand. Not good. The pressure from the rock blew out the side of his hand between his thumb and forefinger. It was messy.
He ended up with five stitches and now, it’s already all healed and behind him. He said this, “At least it was an experience.”
Hmm…I don’t think I would have said that, or thought that. He’s right though. It’s an experience and he’s got a story to tell. It became party of his life, part of his story.
When we try something new, it’s not always going to be a positive experience. Sometimes bad things happen, but don’t let that stop you from trying. Live that full and curious life. Do something outside your routine. Take a chance and order something different when you visit your favorite restaurant. Walk to work instead of taking the car. You know yourself better than I ever will, so think about one thing you can do differently this week.
Have an experience.
When was the last time you tried something new?