Comfort Challenge 2: Broadened Horizons
You’ve surely heard the quote, “every day try something that scares you.” Although I love the concept of this mantra, I find it unrealistic to apply in a life demanding ever-increasing responsibilities and time we often don’t have. Rather, my proposed comfort challenge is, “every day try something new.”
In case you missed a past blog discussing infinite doorways, a comfort challenge is a test of character; a chance to step outside of your “bubble” and learn something new about yourself and the world. The beauty of this particular challenge is that it can be applied on a variety of levels.
Any particular horizon is only as expansive as the individual’s past experiences. Those who have had the fortune of traveling (especially to areas where extreme poverty or suffering is witnessed) can attest to the fact that you do not return the same person as when you left. Something has caused a shift in perspective, a broadened horizon. It is often difficult to pin point exactly which part of the experience causes us to feel this way, but the feelings certainly can’t be denied.
Imagine being able to experience this on a daily basis. I’m here to argue the notion that it is in fact, quite possible.
If every new experience shifts our perspective and stimulates growth, it would be crazy not to try something new! Outside of full-blown adventures like skydiving, climbing Mount Everest and traveling the world, there are millions of feasible ways to broaden horizons and learn something new (after all, if you’re not learning you’re not living.) Here are a few realistic suggestions I have discovered to be applied on a daily basis:
1) Instead of frequenting a restaurant you love, make it a point to try a new location each time you eat out. Larger scale? Try an entirely new cuisine (Indian, Ethiopian, Russian) Smaller scale? Order something you’ve never had at the restaurant you love.
2) Take a weekend and travel somewhere you’ve never been. Get lost! Larger scale? Take a weekend trip to a different state or somewhere further than an hour away. Smaller scale? Take a different route to work or school, maybe even a different mode of transportation.
3) Learn to play a musical instrument. YouTube lessons are free! Larger scale? Sign up for classes or lessons (accountability can be important for adherence in the beginning of the process). Smaller scale? Go to a coffee shop and listen to an open-mic performance (make sure to introduce yourself to the artist after the show)
4) Read a book! Crazy concept I know. Whether it’s a physical book or an audio book, reading has to be one of the simplest ways to stimulate the mind and foster mental growth. Larger scale? Join a reading or book club where you can intelligently discuss your perspective with like-minded individuals. Smaller scale? If you can’t peel yourself away from the TV, attempt to watch educational shows instead of mindless entertainment.
The above are merely a small glimpse of the countless opportunities available to you. Humans are creatures of habit; it is easy to get comfortable and find oneself in a monotonous routine. Maybe you will find something you are passionate about on your journey to attempt something new or maybe you just discover something you don’t like. In any case, give the comfort challenge a shot because you just never know, you may be pleasantly surprised.
-Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow-
Mike Sherbakov, CSCS, CPT, RYT