Why Not . . . Do Something New Each Year?
Wednesday September 18, 2013

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“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself.”  ~Soren Kierkegaard

Prior to attempting anything novel and unknown is a feeling of uncertainty and some level of anxiety; however, it has been my experience that after making the jump, hopping on the plane or whipping up a new recipe, I usually am filled with exhilaration and a boost of adrenaline. “Bring on the next adventure!” is often what is circling around my brain (and then I wake up and realize it’s okay to do a little at a time and savor the moment).

Why the surge of excitement?

The many gifts bestowed upon the person willing to take a chance, put themselves out there and attempt the unfamiliar far outweigh the mundane comfort of mindless routine. While routine has its place, if we never incorporate a dash of something new into our lives from time to time, we waste the gifts that life has to offer to those of us fortunate to be healthy enough to experience them. And even when they don’t work out the way we had planned, a gift is still offered. Let me explain. Here are six amazing benefits of deciding to regularly do something new.

1. Learn Something New

Whether you end up falling in love with the culture overseas or become utterly confused by their customs, you gain insight and knowledge that broadens your perspective and enlightens your world. Ultimately when we visit a new destination or try something new we are allowing ourselves to consider something new, and the power that can have on how we choose to continue to go on living our lives can be profound.

2. Something to Look Forward To

By challenging yourself to do one new thing each year you are giving yourself something to look forward to. I don’t know about you, but I quite enjoy the anticipation leading up to a grand trip, a new venture or a new class. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way we might have expected, we have given ourselves something to hope for. And if we are willing to be introspective, what we are hoping for, what we have imagined in our minds, can reveal so much about the life we wish to create for ourselves. All we need to do is listen.

3. Boost Confidence

For me, mastering the Metro on my own in Paris was a tremendous hurdle to overcome. I must admit, I was quite anxious about navigating my days while depending upon the underground. However, once I did my homework and actually demonstrated to myself how simple it was, I received a natural boost of confidence. The lesson I discovered is that often the only thing standing between myself and understanding something new is the time it takes to do my homework on the subject and my irrationalized fear.

4. Build Amazing Memories & Strengthen Relationships

Whether you choose to attempt new things on your own or with someone, the bond you build with yourself or with those who are with you can create memories that will never be able to be extracted from your mind. In creating these memories, often the bonds are strengthened as you’ve demonstrated to each other that you are willing to be vulnerable in front of each other. If you come out on the other side exhilarated and with a heightened confidence, it’s often because you have realized you have tremendous support and an excited hope of what else you can do together or on your own.

5. Strengthen your Courage

Each time you look fear in the face and attempt whatever is causing you to tremble, you build courage. And each time you do it, the courage you have accumulated is conditioning for even more amazing ventures down the road. All of us are faced with struggles and fears, but it is in staring them down, not in cowering, that we build up our strength to accomplish the really big goals that we never thought we might accomplish.

6. Challenge Previously Held Beliefs

Running a marathon, traveling alone, appreciating your individual freedoms. Often it is when we are stepping out of our comfort zone that our beliefs are forced to shift because we discover new information that completely eliminates what we once believed. At other times, our understanding of something is strengthened as we see more evidence in a different form that bares the same truth to be factual.

Even though there are less than four months left in 2013, take a moment and look back over your year so far. What new things have you tried? Make a list. If you have done something new, bravo!

The world is full of new and exciting things to teach you and open your eyes to. And if you look at your list and it’s empty, you still have time! Get busy, and have fun expanding your mind. Who knows what you might discover.

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