Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’ll never do that again!” after doing something? It could have been a food you ate. It could have been a night of too much drinking. It’s possible you did something super dangerous and are glad that its over. Do you regret said thing? Actually, let me put it to you in a better way. Would you rather have not done it? I feel like in most cases the answer is a clear “no.” Because even though it was something you’d never want to do again, it changed you in some way. That change could have been for the better. It could have been for the worse. But at least it moved you in a new direction. At least you learned. At least you collected data so that you can make future decisions. It doesn’t mean you’re supposed to go out there, be a daredevil, and do incredibly foolish things. But there’s definitely merit in trying things. And guess what? There’s also nothing wrong with you for NOT wanting to do said thing again. Allow me to share a recent example:
Back in April of 2022, I took a small weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first time my wife and I had left the kids at home. We went with my sister and brother-in-law. It was an awesome trip. Honestly there’s nothing I would change. From the moment we left to the moment we came back, we had a great time. But you know what I thought to myself when I got home? “I’m not going back there.” It’s nothing against Nashville. Far from it in fact. But it was just one of those cities where I was like “cool, I’m done.”
Nashville is an Intense City
Let’s just put it this way. When you get past things like The Grand Ole Opry and going to the Country Music Hall of Fame, what’s left? I’ll tell you what’s left. A fun little city with a ton of flavor. But that flavor comes in the form of loud music, tons of drinking, and lots and lots of food. This is the perfect formula for a three day weekend. But for me at least, it’s not a great formula for a place to live nor an extended vacation. But again, that’s just me. That’s got nothing to do with anyone else. Seeing over 500 bachelorette parties (literally) and “drinking” buses and drinking pedal wagons (look them up) 24/7 got a little old. The allure of the city was amazing on day one and by day three I was missing my kids and the quiet I call home and my office.
Still though, it will be one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken. It was great to get out of the house. It was great to spend time with three adults whom I love dearly. It was nice to take a break from the kids. It was awesome to just laugh for a while. It was great to see my wife in a different city and in a new light. Nashville provided so much “new” that I didn’t think I could get at the age of 43. And that’s what it’s all about.
Don’t get stale
That “new” is what keeps us going. It’s what keeps us growing and learning. Like I said, it doesn’t always have to be a positive experience. In fact, I’m in the camp of “I find what I want by experiencing what I don’t want.” Not all of us are born with some kind of destiny or pre-ordained path. In fact, most of us aren’t. So that means we have to find it for ourselves. And the more time we spend looking, the more we can fall into the trap of analysis paralysis. Instead of doing and trying, we end up making decisions without experience and choosing paths without having gone down any at all. And the worst thing that can happen? We don’t go through with anything out of fear that we won’t like something. And that means we’re stuck in perpetual limbo. The worst feeling in the world is inertia. It’s being in a place of stillness.
There’s nothing wrong with getting to a place of comfort. That can be a good thing. But being there for too long? You’re always bound to get antsy. You’re always bound to get uncomfortable. But look at that as a positive. Embrace it. And most importantly? Do something about it.
So how do you keep it interesting?
It’s easy to simply say “just do it.” But the question is “how?” How do you make the leap from essentially sitting on your ass for days on end to actually getting up and doing something? I think it starts with identifying what’s important to you. Often times what’s important to us doesn’t align with sitting on our butts all day. Most of us value relationships. We value having lives that feel “good,” and that have purpose.
Purpose isn’t driven by inactivity. It’s driven by action. And if you’re having trouble making the leap? Start off small. Make a phone call to someone you don’t know. Write 250 words about a trip you want to take. Just make sure it’s something. And just as important? Make sure it’s consistent. So no, you don’t have to get out there and swim with sharks just yet. But let’s just say that’s exactly what you wanted to do.
Perhaps you’d first read about sharks. Maybe you’d watch some videos. Perhaps you’d go to an aquarium to actually see sharks in action. Maybe you’d plan a snorkeling trip just to see how you’d handle yourself with tropical fish. Did it make you nervous? No? Maybe up the ante to some bigger fish. But guess what’s happening all this time? You’re doing things once. Every step you take to get closer to swimming with sharks is a learning experience. It’s another thing in the world that makes you interesting. Before you know it you’re a well rounded, cultured person and you didn’t even necessarily have to swim with the sharks.