Today, right now in fact, I’m sitting outside the BrainWash Cafe and Laundromat sipping on a frozen lemonade in San Francisco (the fact that I’m sitting in SF is a whole other story). I left my apartment in the middle of eating lunch and decided that I was going to find the first place that offered a seat outside, grab a drink, and write. Now the writing part isn’t random, but the place I’m sitting at certainly is. I know nothing about this place, the patrons that frequent it, the food, the area it’s in, or the fact that it doubles as a place for washing your undies (which I only found out when I checked in on Foursquare).
Doing random shit keeps us sharp, it keeps us guessing, it keeps us learning. Stagnation is the single worst enemy of progress. Now don’t get me wrong routines are wonderful, in fact, I’m a very routined person, but when we fall into these routines we forget that there’s a whole other World just waiting for us to discover it. There’s a lot more out there than the same turkey sandwich you have for lunch every day, or the same bar you and your group of friends (which is probably the same as well) hang at every Saturday night.
Doing random things aids in the pursuit of our goals and dreams. Sometimes the next step in life is in a totally new location. In order to do it, we need to be able to adapt. To cope. To say goodbye. To be comfortable eating a meal alone. When opportunity knocks, it isn’t always around the corner. I just moved to San Francisco from Ontario, Canada, to continue on the path towards what I want for myself. It’s a lot to take in and hasn’t been easy, but by doing these random things every week (for a long time now), I’ve trained myself to be comfortable in brand new situations in new locations with new people.
You don’t want to skip over a great opportunity because you’re afraid to do something different.
Doing one random thing a week is a great way to find a new spot for coffee, locate a new park, or make a new connection. But more importantly it’s starting the process of learning a new skill set, the ability to adapt happily and comfortably.
Turn off your maps, toss on your headphones, and go.
I’d love to hear your random thing of the week, please tweet me @geoffgates or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.