“20 years from now, you will be MORE disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” Mark Twain
Too often, we think of explorers as a small group of special, brave people who push fearlessly into the unknown. They discover new places for the rest of us and bring back exciting ideas, things and people, over which all the rest of us marvel with fascination.
Unfortunately, the rest of us don’t think of ourselves as new possibility adventurers and miss the opportunities in our own lives to explore new ideas, discover new opportunities or map the unknown. We fall into the rut of organizing our days around what we already know how to do, doing it routinely, with minimum variation, because it feels comfortable and safe.
Why You Don’t Always Want to Do It the Same Way
But while routine is comfortable, it is also the opposite of growth and expansion. Familiar and comfortable is a place in which we experience lower levels of stress and anxiety which is why we gravitate toward it. It is also the place in which we perform in a steady state, working hard to do it the same way each time. Unfortunately, over time, while it feels safe we can also begin to experience it as boring and even exhausting.
Professional growth and maximum performance are activated by new challenges, new experiences, and new exploration. Just think of the last time that you tried something new – a new restaurant, a new process, a new way of thinking. What happened? What new possibilities emerged? And how did you feel? Usually exploring new possibilities creates feelings of excitement, anticipation and curiosity about the unknown, which is more fun than just feeling “comfortable”. So, if your life is feeling exhausting at the moment, don’t veg out in front of the TV or screen. Do something you have never done before to feel re-energized!
Three Hacks to Start Your Own Possibility Adventure
Today, take one step toward exploring more possibilities for yourself, no matter how big or small, and see the fun and excitement you can bring into your career and life.
Commit to exploring new possibilities every day: Put it on your daily “to do” list or make space for a minimum of 30 minutes of looking for or exploring new possibilities. Read something unrelated to work, try a new way to do a daily activity, ask “what if” and think about a new way to solve a problem.
Create new experiences: Create a new experience for yourself every day … how you get to work or what you eat for lunch. Try something that scares you, because facing our fears is a sure path to opening new possibility doors.
Give yourself some downtime: Recharging is essential to build the energy and focus to push past your familiar and create new experiences. Make time to relax and do something that energizes you. This is not about distraction (TV binging/overeating/online games, etc.) … it is about doing something that leaves you feeling good immediately and after you have tried moving, reading or learning something new, having a meaningful conversation with someone who loves you.