When was the last time you did something you have never done before? When was the last time you did something completely different? Maybe you went someplace you’ve never gone before or participated in an event you've only read about. I was recently challenged to think about the last time I experienced something for the first time.
It is easy to get into a rut, okay, I will call it a groove, if that makes you feel better. Generally, and particularly in mid-life, there is a tendency to “go with what we know.” We have our favorite restaurants and sometimes we have our signature meal we order every time we eat there. We go to the same dry cleaners, the same grocery stores, the same church and sometimes sit in the same pew. It’s understandable, I am a creature of habit too. My rationale was that if I could decrease the amount variables—by sticking with service providers and places I know I can depend on—more things would work right than wrong in my life. I had unwittingly adopted a “go with what you know” mentality.
So this year, I decided to mix things up. I started small. First I deliberately decided to experience something for the first time each month personally or professionally. Maybe it was making a new business contact, attending a workshop, experiencing an arts event out of my usual genre or going to a town I had never visited and learning more about the place. In January, I invited Leah Smiley, President of the Society of Diversity to lunch when I found she also lived in Indianapolis. What followed was an enlightening conversation, a great business contact and the foundation of a future blog post you'll be able to read soon.
Last night, I attended Speed Networking- hosted by Anthony and Tamara Sullivan. It was a Linking Indiana event and promised a night of professional networking in a fast paced environment. Every month the invitation arrives via LinkedIN. The event was my something for the first time for April. There were lots of people and I appreciated the structure of moving from table to table with time limits on making your pitch so everyone could share. There were job seekers, recruiters, many entrepreneurs, lots of I/T types, an internship coordinator for
and people in the not-for-profit world. It only took three hours out of the month—many new contacts were gained—who knows where they will lead. Butler University
So here’s the challenge. When was the last time YOU experienced something for the first time and really moved out of your comfort zone? If it is has been too long, maybe this could be a goal for you too. Spring is time of new beginnings and renewal—experience it!