I learnt two new things over the weekend, that frozen grapes are amazingly good and how to make paper origami cranes. Before that I thought grapes would freeze solid like little blocks of flavourless concrete and that paper cranes are extremely hard to make and very time consuming. But that is the problem with having a limited mindset, it stops us from doing cool stuff and destines us to keep in our little comfort zone doing the same old things.
So why is trying new things good for you, here are a few reasons.
Feed the Brain - You have the ability to change your brain from the day you’re born until the day you die, yes our brains are not hardwired, you have a conscious choice to create new positive pathways. The scientific truth of the last decade is that we have much more power to shape our reality than we realised due to the brain’s ability to change its physical structure and function through thought, emotion, activity and our environment. The brain can build new pathways across its 100 billion neutrons as it's challenged by new information, a new environment or a new learning. Try choosing a new way to go to work, reading a new book, saying yes to a new experience or start removing those negative influences.
Be Curious – Why don’t we ask more questions (and I don’t mean Siri!)? Why do we accept the preconceived notion of the way something is? Open yourself up to new ways of doing things and spark your creativity and energy, maybe there is a better way. Find out how things work and why the world is as it is, ever wondered why the sky is blue, why it is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open or why ants never sleep? Most importantly being curious makes us engage with the world and actually listen to the answer which is very rare these days in the time of limited attention spans.
Meet new people - Try joining a new club, attending a new class, connect with likeminded people and expand your social group. People are diverse and interesting, everyone has a story to tell if you just listen. Recently I took up golf again after many years lay off, I made the commitment to myself to buy new clubs and get out there and play regularly, one of the most satisfying aspects of doing this is I am now catching up with my mates more regularly, meeting new people on a personal and business level and getting more exercise, a win win in my book.
Discover unknown talents – We are a pretty amazing lot human beings but the truth is a lot of us take those talents to the grave because we never gave them a chance to develop or were too afraid of failure. Maybe you’re a great card player, dancer, singer, writer or awesome at puzzles, what ever it is, having a talent for something doesn’t mean you have to the best in the world at it, it just has to give you a sense of joy, a sense of accomplishment and pride, something you can share with others, maybe even your kids.
Sense of Accomplishment – How good does it feel when you learn new skills then start to master them. A little while ago I was a DIY tragic, then when it was time to redo the back deck I decided to become the apprentice and learn how to do it from a carpenter mate. What started with a willingness to give it a go five years ago has now turned into a passion with me building my own decks, fences, gates, barn doors then extending that to paving and renovating a full studio. When you surprise yourself by doing something you never dreamed you could do, that pride and the confidence that comes with it, has a way of building on itself and suddenly you move from a procrastinator to a doer.