The Novel-Happy Link

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Photo Credit: GollyGForce via Flickr

“Plans are an invitation to disappointment.” –Darek Landy

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Too much of our lives are spent doing the same monotonous things: driving to work and back again, to the same gym to workout and back again, taking the same walk with dogs and back again, to your favorite bar and back again, to the starbucks near your apartment and back again.

Maybe your friends always hang out at the same place in the same city, your meetings always take place in the same room, or you spend all your Sunday afternoons at the same place for brunch.

I’ve come to find that this is the fastest route to happiness disaster. It’s comfortable yes, and it’s safe; but it leads to a boring, depressing life quite fast.

I found this when I worked a horrible desk job this past summer, and even when I was working at a job I loved but was excluding time for adventures, trying new things, and going to new places.

But every time I made time for trying a new hiking trail, going to a different town or city, taking a new class, or hanging out at a different coffeehouse, my enthusiasm for life was reborn.

It’s true that happiness is usually a choice. That you can choose to appreciate the things you have in your life and practice gratitude. But it’s also true that certain actions can bring more spark, more excitement, and more enthusiasm to your life, and help your life begin buzzing with color.

Trying novel things is one such action.

Trying novel things transforms your life from boring routines to new and enchanting experiences that help bring you alive again. Novel experiences open up your world, and expand the “normal” you are accustomed to. They expose you to new situations and experiences that help you grow. They push you outside of your comfort zone, which in turn builds character.

Novel experiences help you build trust in the universe, and teach you that risk-taking, however small, is the only road to an authentic, creative, and enthusiastic life.

Some ideas:

  • Take a new class you’ve always wanted to try (my personal pick: white water kayaking)
  • Travel to the town that’s right next to your own, and explore it like a tourist
  • Take a weekend travel adventure roadtrip
  • Switch coffeeshops, restaurants, and bars to ones you’re not accustomed to
  • Talk to a new person
  • Attend a social event that you wouldn’t normally attend
  • Travel!!

Now tell me: do you like trying new things? Does this influence your happiness and enthusiasm?

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