Unboxed Life

Boldly existing outside the box through conscious living and constant learning.

The Power of Trying New Things

copyright 2012 Tanner Colton

Today’s post is going to be an expansion of some of the topics found in a post from Scott Dinsmore over at “Live Your Legend.” In his post called A Brief Guide to Disproving Human Limits Scott talks about the power and simplicity of trying something new. One of the core principles of Unboxed Living is in the expanding of the mind through new and unknown experiences. Mr. Dinsmore does a superb job of laying out some simple steps in attacking our self-imposed limitations in life. Briefly they are:

  1. Pick something you’ve never done
  2. Do it with someone
  3. Find motivation
  4. Get moving

You can read through his blog to find detailed information on how to accomplish these and overcome the barriers in attempting something you have never done. What I want to do here is lay out the, sometimes hidden, value of doing something you have never done. Some of these things might be obvious, some not so evident, but all leading to a more Unboxed Life and a less limited view on what you as a person can do.

Future challenges or barriers are surmountable

You will find that once you take the leap and do something new or something you never thought you could do that the next time something comes along that might have once been an obstacle now becomes a milestone. You can look back on the last new thing you did and feel that, since you were able to accomplish that previous thing, that this new opportunity is doable. This opens up many new doors in your life and removes barriers and reasons to not try new things.

Someday becomes today

We all have things we say we will do someday right? The reasons for placing that thing in some far off future place in time vary widely. Maybe its fear, doubt, money, or some other psychological barrier that keeps that thing at arm’s length. With the addition of new experiences and the overcoming of those blockages come decreased excuses for delaying your desires. Pretty soon you will be left with no excuses for not going on that Round the World trip and taking the leap out of an airplane. New experiences eliminate excuses and promote action.

Your psychology shifts away from self-doubt and inferiority to empowerment and confidence

Empowerment is a loaded word that is misused a lot in many different areas of life. What empowerment really means is the access to and ability to make choices in your life. The capacity to choose a different course in your life is the real evidence of empowerment in any situation. When you try new things and engage in new experiences you will feel like more options are available to you in your life. This is empowerment. As you move forward more and more of the world will be laid out in front of you just waiting to be experienced and enjoyed. If you never challenge yourself against new things your ability to choose will be hindered.

Opportunities for learning abound

The most abundant byproduct of trying new things is the opportunity to learn. Learning not just about the thing in which you are engaged, but about yourself and other people. Exposure to new things such as travel, language, and food give you invaluable insight into other cultures and ways of life. Without stepping outside your box and trying that new thing you will forever be closed off from those amazing and enlightening experiences.

You can inspire others to leave their boxes behind

Service to others comes in many forms; leading by example is one of them. Every time you take the leap and actively and consciously try something new, others will notice this bold move and aspire to emulate it. They will see the positive effect the new experience has on your life and how it shapes who you are as a person. Without any words or pleas you can inspire someone to seek out unique experiences and enrich their own lives with the power of understanding. As they pursue that knowledge and are confronted with obstacles your willingness to power through and not let fear or doubt stop you will provide them with what might be the single most important tool in Unboxing their lives.

Opens up new opportunities for activities

Have you ever been at home on a Saturday afternoon and wondered “What am I going to do this weekend?” I know I have and at times it can be supremely perplexing. Each and every time you try something you have never done there is the possibility it might turn into a new hobby or passion. As you accumulate experiences you also stockpile potential activities for your life. The more new things you try the less empty weekends you will have.

Increased self-awareness

The ability to be self-aware and to truly know who you are as a person, strengths and weaknesses, is a lost value in our society. It is crucial in your goal of Unboxed Living to gain a complete and accurate picture of who you are as a person so that you can begin to expand that initial definition. Experiencing new things allows us to test ourselves against challenges and situations in order to gauge our own response and reaction. In these experiences we can begin to formulate a detailed map of ourselves on our way to an Unboxed Life.

My challenge to you is to stop falling victim to the multitude of reasons not to do something and start seeking out reasons to not wait to do something. Whether it’s as small as trying a new type of food or as large as quitting your job to hit the road action will inevitably lead to success. For inspiration and ideas you can check out 52 Brand New where one new experience is tried each week for a year. I really enjoy hearing the stories of new things tried and new fun had. Whatever it is you want to try, go forth and partake of the sweet nectar of life found in the flower of new things.

Climber photo by: sara.kallado


8 comments on “The Power of Trying New Things

  1. Steve
    June 17, 2012

    I really like this post. There is a lot of power in trying new things. That’s how you find passions and learn new things. You never know where things will take you until you try that first step.

    I agree with you on the idea that the more new things you try, the less empty your weekends will be. It’s way too easy to waste away a weekend by watching TV or doing nothing productive. Once you get the ball rolling and you start doing interesting things, you’ll start to notice how many more ideas you’ll have on things to do. My trick for making sure I spend my time wisely is to keep asking myself if what I’m doing is a good use of my time. If it isn’t then I change what I’m doing. It’s really helped me fill my time up with new experiences.

    • Tanner Colton
      June 17, 2012

      Hey Steve, thanks for the comment! I like the idea of continually asking if how I am spending my time is good and if I am making the most of the time I have. That really is thinking Unboxed, thanks for sharing!

  2. Erin McNaughton
    July 3, 2012

    This is a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing your insights. Trying new things truly does open up our self-awareness, and pushes us to and beyond our limits.

    • Tanner Colton
      July 3, 2012

      It really does and is one of the only things that can really teach us about ourselves and our place in the world. I really feel like familiarity and comfort are ok, but only in frequent encounters with the unfamiliar do we find the core of what it means to be alive. Thanks for the comment!

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