It’s easy to get into a routine, and eventually have that routine turn into a rut. If we’re not careful, our lives can eventually start to feel as though we’re living the movie Groundhog Day. There’s no question that to experience visible progress and creative momentum that repetition is inevitable aspects of your life. But your day to day doesn’t need to be reflective of your month to month or year to year.
A few days ago I started making a list of all the interesting things that I had experienced this year
- Attending an event hosted by Phillip Mckernan
- Publishing my first book
- Visiting my friend Mike Harrington in Colombia
- Being on the Glenn Beck show for the second time
- A Snowboarding trip with my team at Unmistakable to Breckenridge CO
If you make such a list, you’ll be amazed, possibly horrified, but at least more aware of what things have added meaning to your life over the course of a year.
I believe that humans are meant to continually grow and evolve. But there’s a rather interesting paradox at play. As we get older, we tend to be less self-expressed, take fewer risks, and add less to the resume of our life experiences.
Rather than see aging as a reason to contract, we should view it as an opportunity to expand. We should make each year of our lives are more interesting than the one before.
1. Try Something New
Part of what inspired this piece was my recent interest in snowboarding. For the last 7 years, I’ve been an avid surfer, while occasionally dabbling in snowboarding. But this year I took a portion of my advance from my book, purchased a snowboard. I wanted to expand my board sports repertoire, and I’m guessing it won’t be long before I pick up kite surfing.
My personal preference when it comes to trying something new is physical activity, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Nearly every one of us has something in the back of our minds that we’ve always wanted to do. And usually, the excuses for why we haven’t done it are total BS. If you make expanding the horizons of your life a greater priority and they inevitably expand.
As Dave Vanderveen so brilliantly said in this animated short below “You never never meet anyone who says “I’ve just done too much stuff in my life.”
2. Say Yes
When we say no to everything that’s not aligned with our essential priorities, we make space for saying yes to the things that we’re curious about, the things that add meaning to our lives and the edges we feel compelled to explore. A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I wanted to live in Lake Tahoe for the winter. I said yes and bought a season pass. But somehow the housing situation didn’t work out and I was stuck with this season pass.
Because I had the insurance I gave some thought to getting a refund. In order to get my money’s worth, I’d need to spend 5 days in Lake Tahoe. When I thought about which would add more meaning to my life, the refund or a 5-day ski trip, it was kind of a no-brainer. I even contacted a few of my friends who are entrepreneurs and asked they might be interested in doing a ski and snowboarding mastermind of sorts.
Somehow, when we say yes to things we feel deeply compelled to yes to, the stars start to align in our favor, and the expressions of our soul’s calling is nurtured.
3. Create More
If you increase your creative output in every year of your life, you’ll not only build a substantial body of work but the foundation for an unmistakable creative legacy. Make good art every day:
- Take more pictures
- Write more than 1000 words
Compare less, create more, and spend your days on activities that add meaning to your life.
As Neil Gaiman once said, “leave the world more interesting for your having been here.” And make each year of your life more interesting than the one before.
(This was first published on medium.)