You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you. – Barbara Sher
By Dawn Onley
So much of what we do in our day to day lives is familiar. It’s so routine that it can become easy to operate almost on auto-pilot, packing lunch for the kiddos, doing the weekly grocery shopping, washing the clothes, bringing in the mail, filling up the gas tank, driving to and from work and shuttling our babies to and from music lessons, sports practice, the movies and the mall.
We eat the same foods, several times a month. We wear the same outfits and shoes, although we have choices. We choose comfort and routine and what’s known, even though much of what enables us to grow is found in the unfamiliar, the new, the road less traveled.
It’s good to switch things up as often as we can.
We need to get lost, on purpose.
Take a new route home from work or play. Walk a different path. Hike a new trail. Visit places that we’ve never been before. Listen to the music of an emerging artist. Pick a different genre of book or movie and give it a shot. Try a new restaurant and experiment with new recipes. Frequent a local coffee shop. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Play a game of racquetball or golf. Learn how to play chess. Take up fencing or tai chi.
The one thing that keeps us forever young in spirit is our sense of wonder and discovery at this big, magnificent world. Curiosity is a marvelous thing. Growth is in the unknown. It’s exhilarating to explore a new direction.
For months, you mull over an issue with no answer in sight, until you break from the norm and venture out on a new path. Then, it’s as if the wind whispers the way and the sky points us in the right direction. It’s as if the ripples in the pond unravel the puzzle of the mind and the road less traveled brings new solutions to old problems.
It’s funny how that works.
New experiences bring fresh insight and new people in our lives — and some of these people are meant to be a part of our life journeys. If we never venture from our routines and rote existences, we never get to meet them.
Take risks. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Brene Brown says “vulnerability is the best measure of courage.”
Be courageous. If you’re single, try an online dating site. Set up an Etsy shop to sell your handmade jewelry. Pitch your book proposal to an agent. Audition for a play. Make the move. Change your surroundings. Fly to a foreign land and immerse yourself in a new culture.
Change things up.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Get lost to find yourself.