Do something that scares you a little. Step into your reality and out of the humdrum by trying something for the first time. Push outside your comfort zone as far as you can and then in a week try something that is even farther away from the complacency and convenience of day-to-day. I am not suggesting that you do anything that is truly reckless, dangerous, illegal or immoral but try something that doesn’t leave your face pressed tightly against the current cozy box. Inside the box you feel safe, sufficient, and sane but life is meant to have tensions, tests, trials and treasures that don’t fit well inside a tight frame.
Here are 5 things to try that shouldn’t shock you but might bring some trepidation.
1. Talk to a stranger – engage with someone on the bus, in a line, at an event, in a park. Someone that you don’t know, someone that you might not meet except in this moment, someone that you aren’t trying to impress. Start the conversation with an easy introduction – hand extended say ” Hi, My name is …” They will reflectively respond with their name. Ask ” What brings you to the … park, store, event?’ or any easy open ended geo-based query. Listen to their response and then ask a third question that their response piqued. The door is open and your challenge is complete – watch where the conversation goes and stay curious.
2. Eat something new – try something ‘unusual’ for the first time or something that you have a bias against because you didn’t like it as a child. You aren’t a child anymore and tastes change. I love Brussel Sprouts, especially in February, but detested them as boiled poop when I was in middle school. Your something new could be fruit, veggie, meat, exotic or simple. It could be prepared at home or purchased from a grocer, cafe, food truck or shared off a friend’s plate. If you expand your palette, you open a window to expand your mind.
3. Take a venturous journey – the world is your oyster so get out there and see her. This could be as simple as riding a bike, public transit, Uber, or walking. It could include flying to Ulan Bator or visiting a farmer’s market that you have ‘wanted’ to get to. You could travel with a group or take a solo sojourn to a mountain, a beach, a lake, a museum. If self propelling your journey (bike/food/blades/paddle) be sure to pause in places that seem interesting or places that seem unusually dull and take in the sights, sounds, smells.
4. Make something – choose to be creative and you are. Bake a cake from a new recipe. Write a poem or paint a picture. Memorize and recite a passage from a play or a quote from a good book. Build a sandcastle, stack rocks, plant a flower, learn to knit, play the ukelele and then as Seth Godin would say ” ship it to the world’ by showing it to someone else. Don’t let the conformity of reality TV like “The Voice” “Idol” assuage you. The road to creativity isn’t necessarily through mimicry, although it is an easier place to start. The real road begins in finding something that makes you smile when you hear it, see it or think about it. Don’t wait for a muse – just color a picture, draw a stick figure, share a ‘crazy’ idea and make it public.
5. Act as if – Take a moment and discover a frivolous indulgence for yourself. You have likely wanted to do something for a long time but have dismissed it as a ‘waste of time, money effort …’. You might want to learn to dance the tango, rock climb or parachute. You could aspire to speak in public, run for office or get a new job. Sailing, singing, sightseeing, flying, fishing, fasting, meeting someone special or making something important. If you take a moment and discover, without debating yourself, what is of interest in this moment it offers a list to begin drawing from. Don’t start with bucket list level stuff (do write those down) but begin with something, just for you, that is just outside your reach. Stretch to start it and then grasp it with both hands and make it the best, the most fun, and the most important activity that you take in that moment. Let yourself enjoy it without judgement or guilt.
The list of 5 isn’t comprehensive but suggestive. Your 5 will be from the sum of your experiences. The key is to begin now and when you check that box begin again.
Make Today Remarkable, by scaring yourself a little,