May 18, 2009

To try new things?

One of the best things about the world today is that you can pretty much do ANYTHING, and I kind of just realized that this weekend. So many times I notice, both in myself and in others, that when we're exposed to new experiences, we respond something like, "Oh my gosh! That's so cool! I would love to try that some time!"

Now if you just said, "I would," when would you do it? Would is the past tense of will, making it somewhere between the past and the future, but certainly not the present. I think it's time for a shift in semantics. Screw the "would" (haha screw the wood - I'm still five years old) and just do it. Try, "Oh my gosh! That's so cool! I'm going to find out how I can do it and do it the soonest chance I get." A good friend of mine put it well when she said, "We're all really good dreamers and planners. Not executors."

That shouldn't and doesn't have to be the case. I think our time here is too short not to be exploring what the world around us has to offer. I don't really know many other ways to express it, but just take a look at this list of things you might want to check out, and actually pick a few and explore a bit. Don't think so much about how something won't work for you. Try it and then figure out whether or not your expectations were confirmed or invalidated. You never know until you try. The essence of life is experience:
  • Try Bikram yoga (or any type of yoga, for that matter)
  • Do a charity walk
  • Raise money for something meaningful
  • Go to a sports event (if you're going to do it once, make it excellent -- try the US Open [golf or tennis], the Olympics [how often are the Olympics ever going to be within 1000 miles of you? Make an effort], the Superbowl, or something of equal magnitude)
  • Meet someone random and do something they want to do within the first three hours of the encounter
  • Go to a botanic garden
  • Go somewhere scenic and be a photographer for a day
  • Buy front-row tickets to a concert and really rock out/sing along like you mean it
  • Listen to some classic rock music
  • Go rock climbing
  • Run a local race (whether it be a 5K, 10K, or a marathon -- whatever suits you)
  • Go skydiving
  • Go hiking
  • Be in a movie (even if you're just that guy crossing the street in the background)
  • Tell the truth
  • Plant something
  • Write a letter to a politician or celebrity
  • Handwrite a letter of appreciation to someone who's really made a mark on your life
  • Learn how to dance (even if it's just the basics)
  • Play around at the foot of a waterfall
  • Sleep outdoors
  • Go pedal-boating
  • Build something with your own two hands
  • Speak to a telemarketer. Seriously.
  • Go to a driving range
  • Learn how to ski
  • Keep a journal for a full month of your life. Update daily.
  • Act carelessly, in a "childish" manner for a full day.
  • Smile in the face of humiliation
  • Live.
I know some things cost money, but really, when else will you have a chance to enjoy life except when you're actually living? Feel free to post some more ideas in the comments or email them to me and I'll throw them onto the post.

The last thing I want to think about when I'm older is, "What if?" or "I should have..." If you can resonate with that, start living.


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