Happy Thursday all! The weekend is almost here, and with it free time to relax, plan and generally enjoy yourself, so get ready 😉
This week, to start off our series of new perspectives leading to new actions, I want to talk about a mindset of exploration.
When I think of exploration, my mind immediately conjures up ideas of great expeditions discovering new territories, scientists holed up in laboratories mixing together previously unknown compounds, and cosmonauts hurtling through the atmosphere going where no one has been before. Exploring can certainly be a grand and impressive undertaking, requiring preparation, a plan, and experience. But these impressive feats of new discovery are only one end of the spectrum that comes from believing that life is a grand adventure, and we are researchers in our own right. On the other end of this spectrum lie equally exciting and potentially life-changing discoveries to be made if we open ourselves to them.
Here’s my pair of “Exploration Colored” sunglasses for you to borrow:
any venture can be an adventure with the right mindset.
When we decide that life is beautiful and interesting and full of new and amazing experiences around every corner, we find and create those experiences. From grocery shopping to getting dressed, varied and unique opportunities await if we only change our goggles to see them.
My parents own a set of Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedias, published in 1983 and purchased in installments via a door-to-door salesman. By the time I arrived on the scene the set was complete and I had the great joy and privilege of growing up with access to the unfathomable depths of their knowledge. I can remember choosing an volume that looked interesting and reading through entry after entry, amazed to hear about other cultures, surprised at photos of creatures I had never seen, and inspired by the people whose names found their way to the pages of an encyclopedia. Like Pringles, I can’t remember ever reading an article in the Funk and Wagnalls and stopping at just one. Seeing all those spines every day served as a constant visible reminder of myriad things to learn, and how much I had yet to experience.
It’s been a long time since then, but I still at least partially credit those encyclopedias and the exploring parents who ensured that I had access to them, with creating in me a thirst for learning, experiencing and knowing about as many things as possible in life.
In sharing this perspective I’ve been trying to think of how to sell you on it… “What should I say to convince people that having a mindset of exploration is a positive thing they should try on?” I’ve come up with a million things, but I can only tell you the value I’ve found in having this particular set of lenses in my goggles- Richness. Vibrancy. Gratitude. Spontaneity. Joy. Variety. Glee. Moments of hope and bliss.
Exploration can change everything! Give it a shot and see if like takes on a different hue.
This week think about exploring…
- The grocery store.
I guarantee you’ll find a fruit you’ve never heard of, a new foodstuff they’re just engineered and a refreshing joie de vivre you’ve probably not often had in the aisles of the supermarket.
- A local library.
If you aren’t a library person you will be surprised at the experience. There are magazines and movies and games and more books than you could read in a lifetime, and I guarantee you’ll find one that interests you. If you already frequent the library try browsing a section you don’t usually browse. Library browsing can lead to some incredible real world exploration.
- A social media friends list.
Friends from high school, new moms, old business partners, potential pick-up basketball teammates and gym buddies are all sitting there full of potential connections, shared reminiscing and potential for support.
- Your closet/dresser/that clean laundry pile.
If you’re anything like me there are some gems in there just waiting for their day in the sun. Trading out your usual standby pieces for something different, even something you already own can give you not only a sparkling new outfit but a chance to shake up old mental patterns. It sounds silly and falsely deep, but it’s true.
- The next neighborhood over.
My husband and I love summer and when the snow finally clears we often find ourselves taking sunny drives to a nearby town for whatever’s good there. We find coffee shops, beautiful seaside scenery, antique troves, beautiful architecture and places we’ve heard about but never seen. Adventure is closer than you think!
- A new flavor.
Guys. There are so many kinds of food in the world! Different culinary styles, ethnic flavor profiles, ingredients, things in season, ways of cooking, and combinations are all your to experience if you decide to see meals as a way to explore. Living in a city obviously makes this much easier, but even in small town grocery stores there are bottled sauces, tins of spices and tools for the task. Find a new recipe and treat your mouth and your mind to some variety!
Explore the woods, try a new workout class, ask new questions in old relationships, meditate and explore your own head! Play around with this mindset and enjoy broader horizons, greater flexibility, new ways to appreciate everyday tasks, and the rich and beautiful experiences of a life of exploration!