At 65, I’ve seen and done a lot of things. Like most, I have developed routines over the years and like some, at times have gotten stuck in those routines.
Everyone has a personal world in which they live. You get up, have your coffee, hop on the bus, get to work and then come home. Your world narrows when you don’t deviate from your routine. You stop learning, you stop exploring, and sometimes you even stop wishing. Things are good as they are, why change, why try something new.
Often we get so enmeshed in our own little world that we think it is the only one there is. We lose the ability to marvel at new, or even find it. We think we have tried everything there is to try.
Why try new things?
Trying new keeps your brain active.
Studies have shown that learning helps build connections in your brain, keeping you in better mental health. When you try something new, your brain is forced to build those new connections.
Trying new makes time pass more slowly.
When we follow the same routine all the time, there are no markers to differentiate one day from another and time seems to whiz by. When we try new things we mark the passage of our lives in new ways.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!”
Trying new gives you something to look forward to.
Anticipation, for me, has always been ¾ of the fun. A study reported in the New York Times agreed with me. The Times reported:
The study, published in the journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life, showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.
Trying new introduces you to different people.
Beginning a new course of study, or a new activity or hobby or business can bring you into contact with a new circle of people. This allows you to build more human connections. Staying connected has been shown in multiple studies to be a predictor of better heath and happiness.
Trying new keeps you humble.
As we age and develop experience and knowledge of a variety of things, we can become overly impressed with our own intelligence and abilities. Putting ourselves on equal footing with other beginners or seekers can keep us humble. We too can fail.
New things to try.
So are you eager to try something new, now that I’ve restated the benefits? What is on your bucket list – what new experiences or knowledge are you seeking?
Try a new method of travel. Take a train, ride your bike, hike, ride the bus. Take a guided tour instead of designing your own trip. Go to a place totally different from your normal travel destinations.
Vary your physical activities.
Ride an elephant. Take a hot air balloon ride. Do a pull up. Work back up to doing a headstand or somersault. Walk a balance beam. Swim underwater. Challenge your physical capabilities with new exercises, new sports, new work activities. Learn to cook. Make a pot. Carve a statue. Pour some concrete.
Give a class. Lead a brainstorming session. Meditate. Become a mentor. Join a club. Volunteer in a national park. Save the seals (or any number of other worthy causes). And yes, write a blog post (I could use some guest posts!)!
Pick a subject and become the family expert on it. Learn another language – after all there are many from which to choose – so many that it is hard to count them, according to the Linguistic Society of America.
What new thing are you looking forward to learning, seeing, doing?