Step outside your comfort zone is a common piece of advice. However, when it involves stepping outside the box, we tend to think twice about that advice. The screensaver on my telephone, a quote by Albert Einstein, references this dilemma. “The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find him/herself in places no one has ever been before.”
When we explore we truly live. We need to be a traveler through our life, not merely a tourist. “Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what is right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in,” advices Andrew Zimmern.
If all we ever encounter is what we already have seen or know, then we gain nothing. It is scary to go explore. I completely and totally understand that and yet, when we refuse to do so, we limit ourselves and shrink our potential and our world.
The weekend is upon us. What will you explore? It doesn’t have to be trudging up the side of Mount Kilimanjaro. You don’t need to tightrope across the Grand Canyon or go wingsuit flying. Explore your neighborhood and this time, don’t just walk past your neighbors, share a smile or greeting. Explore your local library or park. Offer to help out at a local soup kitchen or learn a new craft hobby. You can even explore your own closet and renew with old friends via forgotten photographs or catch up on Facebook.
The world is so much larger than the field of our own vision or our own opinions. Take a chance and wander through your home and see things you’ve forgotten. Then go explore your town. Forego that fancy restaurant and eat at the local mall in the food court. This time, though, really see who else is around you. Chances are you’ll see a small child exploring and dreaming. We should take a lesson from the children and discover life.
Tomorrow do something you always do but approach it from a different perspective. The years is in dispute, whether 1907 or 1923, but at some point a guy working part-time as a soda jerk (ice cream vendor for those of you unfamiliar with the term) decided to explore what he was serving. Instead of making the typical ice cream sundae, a scoop or two of ice cream with some syrup and whipped cream, he explored his options. Suddenly the banana split was born with three scoops of different flavors of ice cream, two or three types of syrup, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. The world has enjoyed this delectable concoction ever since, because a young man decided to explore his options.
H. Jackson Brown sums it up best. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”