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Investing in experiences – benefits that go a long way!
Call me boring but am a routine loving person, doing the same things day-in and day-out never tires me. My excuses seem endless – Recently married, new country, new workplace, already juggling a lot of things around. And I find solace in the idea that amidst all these, finding time for a new learning or experience is close to unachievable.
But despite all the excuses, I know the real reason why I defy trying anything new – the fear of taking a risk and the fear of an unknown result. Studies suggest we fear an unknown outcome more than we do a known bad one. What if I don’t like this new dish? What if snorkeling is dangerous? Too many what ifs, right?
In of our weekly team calls once, a question I always have dreaded, was thrown at us all, ‘What new thing did you learn this week?’ I had nothing much to share obviously. But that day, the realization of how important it is to try and learn something new struck me hard. Because those who shared, seemed thrilled to have achieved something they had built a wall around, previously. I decided I will have an answer the next time, if the question had to be thrown at me again.
It got me thinking – Why is it important to seek new learning experiences? Because it’s rightly said, “We are the sum total of our experiences”. Experiences are an unshakable part of our personalities and those stay with us, shape our minds to make us what we are. It amazes me how our experiences add up to create our lives. Our career that we devote ourselves to, makes up about 25 percent of our lives, while the rest of it makes up our experiences to create a better us.
When we try new things, even as little as trying a new dish it expands our comfort zone. It’s hard to measurable impact of trying a new dish, but what do we have to lose? Trying something new won’t harm anyway. I have grown to realize how awesome it is investing in experiences. I have my little list of benefits to remind myself of trying the new, and here it rolls:
- Fun being the top most: Trying something new can be fun. I remember being dragged to a monsoon trip to this hill station called Darjeeling in India, by my friends. Neither, I am a fan of monsoons nor is the season ideal for traveling to the hills. However, it turned out to be a great trip with so many memories for life, that I can’t recount the next time I said ‘no’ to a new thing out of my comfort zone!
- New perspective: With experiences comes perspectives, which result in our mind-set growth. We think we know it all, but that new learning adds a different dimension to the thinking. Travelling has changed my perspective towards a lot of things. It has changed how I see and interact with every aspect of the world – my relationships, career goals, political views etc. I literally see a newer me.
- A break from mundane routine: It is normal to get trapped in routine, but does that mean we shouldn’t aim to do little things to make the routine interesting? My husband is a cycling enthusiast and one evening while we were out purchasing cycling gears for him, he said “Let’s buy a bicycle for you”. My first reaction was what am I going to do with that? He bought it anyway. The coming weekend we went for a ride together. It was exciting and indeed a wise investment of both time and money.
- Sense of accomplishment: Remind yourself of your accomplishment, remember how it felt? Nothing can make you more proud of yourself than learning and achieving something atypical. I never liked cooking but marriage inspired me to get into the kitchen. Even whipping up an omelet seems like an accomplishment. And strangely I find it very fulfilling. It made me realize that even little things like these can mean a lot.
- You may discover a hidden passions: Experiences not only expand your horizons, it also allows you to discover you a hidden talent at times. Every time, we push ourselves to do something new we ignite a renewed energy to discover an untapped potential. Off late, I have picked up the love for the varied cultures and heritages of the beautiful countries in South East Asia. Intrigues me, and makes me want to go out there more often!
One day, a friend said something interesting while we were sipping our coffee, “Don’t be so busy learning from others’ experience that when you die you would have only lived by other’s experiences and no memories of your own!” The thought stayed with me. And since only recently, I am trying to implement it in my life. Small steps to an evolved me, maybe. Promising myself to try a new restaurant, travel to a new place, learn a new language, take up a new sport, experiment something new at work and hopefully much more.
How about you, would you try something new too? Expand your ‘experience’ portfolio, breaking free from the routine, challenging your beliefs – It can be exhilarating!
– Sakshi Singh | Marketing Executive
Sakshi is a Marketing professional working with Ashnik. She is experienced in event management, corporate communications, customer relationship management, strategic alliance, institutional sales, and business development. She co-ordinates with Ashnik’s Principal Partners and Sales team to achieve effective Product Marketing Strategy for open source solutions and works toward a guided strategic marketing approach for the partners in SEA. Besides that, she is a drama series buff who also loves to travel and wishes for a never ending vacation. She is also passionate about learning different cultures and heritage. She has recently discovered a new interest – Cooking, which is a consequence of her marriage.