I want you to do something for me. I want you to try something new.
I want you to try something so new to you that you have no clue whether you’ll like it or hate it.
Something that’s totally out there, that’s so divorced from your usual routine that your mother will call you to ask if you’re okay.
But before you try it, I want you to forgive yourself for not liking it.
There’s this pattern these days where people are pushed to explore their passions, but they aren’t told how to find their passions. People are told that it’s okay to screw up, but not what things to screw up. There’s all this talk about growing and exploring and igniting new loves and starting lifelong projects, but that conversation skips an important step:
Finding things you don’t like.
You’re allowed to have a bad time. You’re allowed to hate new food. You’re allowed to screw up and fail. You’re allowed to be bored. Negative experiences don’t have to have negative results. You learn just as much from the negative as you do the positive.
So go fuck things up.
Yes, I Mean EVERYTHING
I’m a masochist.
I have a relatively low tolerance for spicy food. It wrecks me. I love it. Two tablespoons of chili oil on roasted potatoes will leave me bent over the table gasping for air.
I do that to myself at least twice a month.
The lesson here isn’t that I have an unhealthy relationship with dried peppers, though. Sometimes working hard and suffering for it can be a good thing.
So when it comes to trying new things, don’t be afraid to suffer for it. Don’t be afraid to get in over your head and slog your way out. Get lost, get stuck, flounder, find out you’re allergic to something the hard way. You won’t have a good time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have done it.
Here, check this out. Here are all the things I want to experiment with in 2017:
Yes, you read that right. There’s everything from veganism to celibacy on there. Some of the things on there are things I already do, but not in any kind of a structured way. Others are things that I know I don’t really vibe with, but I haven’t figured out the why of it yet. I’m pretty sure I’ll outright hate 40% of the things listed.
But you know what? I’m going to give ’em all a try anyway.
I MEAN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, BARD DAMN IT
Remember how I asked you to try something new at the start of this ranticle? I’m serious. I want you to pick something totally random that makes zero sense, try it out, and treat the overall experience as a positive on even if you hated it.
Because you’ll learn something.
You’ll find patterns in your interests.
You’ll learn how patient you are.
You’ll notice new things about the things you like
You’ll identify new weaknesses.
You’ll figure out how your head works.
The way you frame an experience dictates how you interpret it
If you don’t frame negative experiences as learning opportunities, you won’t learn from them.
But if you take the time to enjoy finding new displeasure, you’ll know yourself better than you ever could otherwise. Ill fortune borne well is good fortune, and even bad sushi can teach you something.
This isn’t about obligations, either
The idea that we need to unpleasant but unnecessary things to grow as a person isn’t a new one. To me that’s common sense.
But this is more than that.
I want you to try new hobbies, new skills, new habits. Things that are secondary to your core practice. Things that are so far away from your usual routine that you have no idea what they will or won’t contribute. Total outliers.
Because it’s out there on the fringe of the self that real change happens.
So do something new, hate it, love it, and be awesome!
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