Updated: Dec 19, 2018
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
How often do you get outside of your comfort zone?
What was your last big challenge?
Are you happy?
Are you coasting?
I am always fascinated watching children explore the world. The way they erupt into bouts of emotion as they respond to the stimuli around them, be it in delight or anger or anything in between. Listening to them ask question after question. Their eagerness to share their experiences, observations and skepticism with almost anyone who will listen.
The ‘whats?’ and the ‘whys?’ and the ‘how comes?’ that drive them as they explore anything and everything they can get their hands on.
These endless questions are the trademarks of exploration and growth. They are a sign of life, a sign of potential.
There is such a sense of wonder that exists with the newness of a thing. As we get older, and fancy ourselves more familiar with the world around us, we start to miss things. The wonder seems to fade off of our everyday.
Before we continue let’s recognize right here and now that this phenomena has nothing to do with the infinite intricacy and beauty of existence waning. Or because we are anywhere close to having all of the answers.
It happens when people stop asking questions, stop investigating beyond the obvious. When we are no longer consumed by the desire to know more about every little thing we come into contact with. We take knowledge for granted. And trust the experiences of others in lieu of having our own.
We are satisfied with our ability to name a thing. We are not so worried about the knowing of it.
But that is only because we allow ourselves to be satisfied with the obvious. With what is on the surface.
We settle into routines.
We may learn enough to get a degree, or to begin a new position at work, but as we get older we run the risk of narrowing ourselves to such a degree that it is easy to fall into a rut.
Even our passions can become monotonous if we aren’t careful.
And by careful, I mean ravenous.
We have to pursue the things that have the power to change us, to better us, to help us to understand more about ourselves and our place in the world.
As we get older our definition of self becomes
so rigid. We describe ourselves as if we are constant. Our likes and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses. We set them in stone and allow them to dictate how we experience the world.
But the self is not a solid. We can create strength out of weakness. We can change our minds and our bodies at any moment. We are always in a state of transition, even when we think we are standing still. Down to cellular level we are in a constant state of flux. And we should use this to our advantage.
And so much of this has to do with our perception. Perception can be such a roadblock if it is mismanaged.
People think they are too much of one thing and not enough of another to ever be anything new.
But one of the beautiful things about human life is our ability to begin again.
To choose strength, real strength. The kind that helps us to help others, to protect the things we love. To be more joyful, sincere and thoughtful. To explore and build and collaborate to change the world for the better.
We are constantly in a state of becoming.
So the question is, who will you challenge yourself to be?