Small daily experiments to start a BIGGER life.
I heard a phrase on the Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk today. It caused a chain of events, caused this post.
It was a question.
“When did you last try something for the first time?”
It made me ask myself that question.
When did I?
My life is quite fascinating — it fascinates me. I change places where I live often. I never have a plan for how long I’m staying until the day I leave. Abundant renting options and light baggage makes it all really easy and simple. Making “the baggage” light is the hardest part.
But even moving so often across the globe became regular, ordinary. I got comfortable with it. When I feel like it’s time to move — I get a “feeling”, work or study opportunity, research, interesting people to meet, desire to see a beautiful place, have an experience — I move. And then I stay in a place for days, weeks, months, sometimes even years. It depends. I’m open to creative suggestions from the Universe.
I learned to see something new, something unusual, something remarkable in any place — new or not, hot or not. I learned to see with fascination in places where I’ve been before.
I’m in my home town now. This time I decided to be a tourist here, to live like one — to explore, to see the reality around me with a new pair of eyes, to do new out-of-my-ordinary things.
Remember this? — You go to a new country, new city. You get into that mood of seeing everything as special, even garbage on the streets. You are like — Wow! Whoa! — it’s so different, so fascinating, let’s check out this tea museum, must be something really cool — very often it turns out to be, even though it’s pretty much the same as in your country, you know, the one you never went to because it’s “boooring”.
This time, not like before, I decided to move out of my usual place, parent’s house and my room (Actually my parents decided to renovate, so I figured it’s a good opportunity to move out without hurting their feelings). I decided to get my own place. I always wanted to do that as I realized. To live by myself in my home city. I can invite people over, be a host of healthy potlucks and movies-that-make-you-think theme nights — so much cool stuff I can do! I also decided to go to museums, to go on tours, to spend quality time with old friends as an adult — do fun stuff together, and it’s like the best time ever in Siberia right now — summer, white nights, spring kind of weather all the time, best time to go into wilderness (The density of population in the area is 1 person per square kilometer — you can imagine how much of wilderness we have here)! And also I’m in a very good place in my life now, best I’ve been in — free mind, open heart, financially independent, know my values and what’s important for me, ok with myself, who I am, in the best shape physically, positive and ready for anything, ready to change the world! This is kind of cool!
I’m already so excited about everything that I forgot what I was writing about
Where was I?
Oh, yes, trying something new, small and big experiments.
The realization hit me when I heard the question — I might have been changing places I lived in, but with all this moving I haven’t tried to live from a completely different state of mind, I haven’t tried doing things radically different! And that’s why the quality of my life didn’t change radically, the way I want it to change. My way of thinking changed a lot and now it’s time to change what I do, what I live. A LOT.
Time to play big, do big, change big.
I’m 28 now and I believe it’s time to grow. Fast.
I guess I’m like a bamboo. Is it a coincidence the last birthday I was here at home I was given a bamboo plant as a present by a personal training client I met first time on that day? He said, “Well, I didn’t have much time to think about a present, so I got to the nearest flower store, I thought for a unique person like you I needed to get some unique flower — so I got you a bamboo. I thought, nobody probably gave you that before.”
5 years later.
‘Oh, I went mad years ago. Do you know anything about Chinese bamboo? It apparently spends five years as a little shoot, using that time to develop its root system. And then, from one moment to the next it puts on a spurt and grows up to twenty-five meters high.’
‘I’m talking about the spiritual side of my life. I think I’m like that Chinese bamboo plant and that my fifth year has just arrived. It’s time for me to start growing again. You asked me if I’d gone mad and I answered with a joke. But the fact is, I have been going mad. I was beginning to believe that nothing I had learned had put down any roots’
~ Paulo Coelho, “Aleph”
5 years ago I was a different person. Completely different. I don’t like that person. It was necessary to be that, to grow into who I am. I’m glad I’m not that me anymore, but I accept my past completely as a part of now-me.
Time to grow. Fast. Big.
And it starts in the same place. As a different person.
I went around the world — Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, US, United Emirates, Eastern Europe.
I learned a lot. A LOT. Many stories. Many lessons. Ups. Downs.
Setting roots spiritually. Moving physically.
“Stop being who you were and become who you are.”
~ Paulo Coelho
Time to divorce my story. Write it down. Become who I AM. Live it. Make new choices. Try new things. Do new things. Do different. Experiment.
It all starts with small things, small experiments.
At the end of my walk I stopped by the store. I was going to get a pack of Brazilian coffee I got last time. But then I thought, “Do you think you tried the best one and there is nothing better out there? Something you don’t know yet about? Something you’ll like even more? Do you really think you know it all now? You tried it all? You figured it all out?” — The voice in my head was definitely talking about something bigger than a brand of coffee.
I got a pack of Colombian coffee.
It turned out — I did like it more. Go figure.
The whole array of questions followed.
Where else do I assume I got it all figured out? The best way to do my work? The best opportunity for me now? The best people? The best place to be in? The best way to sleep? The best way to eat? To move? To connect with people and the world? The best way to be? To live? To love?
Where else in life am I choosing to buy the same brand of coffee?
Because I’m afraid the thing I try will not turn out to be as good? That means I wasted time, wasted an opportunity to get familiar pleasure.
Where in my life am I choosing to watch the same movie over, and over, and over again?
Where in my life am I choosing familiar over possibly extraordinary?
Comfort over experiment and opportunity?
Where am I choosing to be who I WAS instead of becoming who I AM?
Where are YOU?
Who are YOU?
Familiar and Same? OR Experiment and Opportunity?
Blue? Or Red?
Choice is yours. Always.
The Learning Leader Show (Podcast):