The story goes that the late Steve Jobs went for a calligraphy class at Uni and that was what inspired the idea later on, of creating different fonts for the personal computer (Garamond, anyone?).
Beyonce said the idea of having an all girl band on a tour, came to her in a dream.
Ideas that can add real value to your life can come from anywhere and everywhere. And it starts with you being genuinely open to experiencing something new. A friend of mine suggested I check out the Heidi museum here in Melbourne, and that’s where I am now. What a lovely space this is (not least of all because they’re playing neo-soul tunes here at the cafe). I’m so grateful she told me and I’m so glad I came. It’s added something new to my experience – and it’s a refreshing change from working at my desk.
Many times we say we really are open to new experiences but our behaviour suggests otherwise. We spend time with the same crew, go to the same places, watch the same kinds of movies we always watch, listen to the same kind of music – the list goes on. Knowing who you are and what you like is valuable, but not if it becomes limiting. Not if it means you’re stuck in the same-old routine and not really learning anything new. Even our way of thinking, our attitudes and our beliefs can become static because of this.
This life is an ongoing classroom you see. I’ve met 65 year olds who assure me that they are still learning. They have not “seen and done it all”, and they certainly don’t “know it all”.
Recently I was looking for a podcast to listen to and I went to my usual categories of “Spirituality” or “Society and Culture” (same old, same old). I decided to try something new and opted for “Comedy” and laughed my head off listening to people I’d never heard of. I also discovered a podcast called “Stuff you should know” and “Thinking Allowed”. When I was listening to an old Ricky Gervais podcast, he (in his unique way) began talking about the reason we are all here (your raison d’être as he said) and he talked about how we’re all here to do different things. I sat with that for a while. We are here to do different things. We won’t all do it like the Dalai Lama or Bill Gates and his charity organisation. Maybe your raison d’être is to make music or art that others can enjoy, maybe it’s to be an awesome dad to your biological children and other young people you come across, maybe like Ricky Gervais it’s to brighten people’s day with your out-of-this-world humour. Perhaps your innately nurturing quality is impacting your friends’ lives in ways they haven’t even told you about – and that’s one of your raison d’êtres. I never would have guessed I could get a philosophy lesson from Ricky Gervais.
Being genuinely open (and not just saying you’re an open person) adds value to all areas of your life. These new experiences fuel your creativity and can even help you in your work. That’s the thing you see, being open isn’t just about stepping up your quality of life a notch or two, it can lead you to all kinds of other opportunities you didn’t expect. Most importantly, it is part of your evolution. And evolution is natural. Do you want to be the same person you were 5 years ago?
So go on, do something really different today. Find yourself buying that same magazine? Grab a different one. Looking for a book to read? Pick a category you’d never have picked before. Going out for breakfast? Call your friends and ask “anyone know any cafes I should try?” and go for a drive to check one out.
Has trying something different lead you to some amazing and unexpected things? Share and inspire others in the comment section. Your words may be just what another reader of this blog needs to hear today.