It was 2:00 am, I had been traveling abroad with a few friends and we had no clue where we would be staying that night. As horrible as it sounds, I was still excited. A moment of realization hit me, I was nowhere near my comfort zone, I was being challenged and I felt like a child discovering the world all over again.
We look back at our childhood being one of the most exciting phases of our life mainly because everything was new and unknown to us. We’d think about our-past-selves in a self reflection point and notice how different and ‘stupid’ we were just a year ago.
The significant, unforgettable first time experiences we had throughout our childhood and teenage years inspired us to continue to grow intellectually. According to personality psychologist Robert McClae, openness to new experiences has a direct relationship to creativity and intelligence. Every new encounter allows us to stumble upon new thoughts and emotions that will both broaden our mind and make a slight change to our perspective forever.
This, however, ends as soon as we graduate, get a job and get caught up in the endless zombie routine cycle. Life turns from an adventure into a boring repetitive set of days that doesn’t add much to us. We start to mistakenly think that we’ve arrived at a point of saturation, the same old “I’m now mature enough; I know what I’m doing“. Then we gradually overlook that self-reflecting checkpoint because we haven’t been adding a great deal to ourselves. Instead of doing new things, we follow patterns and traditions. Our heads are stuck in the paradox of happiness. An illusion that satisfaction is waiting to jump out of nowhere just as soon as you get that promotion, buy that bag, travel to that place, get married…etc.
There’s no doubt that these accomplishments do add to us, but we should make every moment count. Living the majority of our lives doing the same things over and over does not make sense, just as much as that point of saturation which does not exist.
So we never really grow up, we will always be children of the universe. The best thing to do is break out of that cycle, and feed our hunger to constantly learn and grow as long as we live. You don’t have to go crazy, quit your job or leave the country to break out of it. All it takes is to get out of your comfort zone, never say no to something you haven’t tried before. Try approaching your daily routine in a different way, such as simply taking a different route to the same place you drive to everyday, playing a new game on your free time, or wearing a color you’ve never worn before.
Every new experience, even if it’s looking through 3 days worth of garbage to find your lost cell phone, should be embraced. It did expand the horizons in your head after all.
Watch as these three lovely old ladies have a first time experience.