Diversity. People say it’s a positive thing.
We’re supposed to diversify our investment portfolios – don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
We aim for diversity in our schools, work, and social circle. We even diversify our diet – eating foods from every color of the rainbow.
Usually, diversity makes things better in two ways. It gives us more options. If the stock market crashes, your assets in real estate or bonds may still be safe. Diversity also gives us a richer and more complete experience. Eating a large variety of fruits and vegetables gives your body everything it needs to function.
But what about our life experience? Do we diversify that?
Someone who works in an office can add after-work hobbies that tap into physical movement and the outdoors. A professional athlete, on the other hand, should pursue mental tasks in their spare time.
But any of us can benefit from simply being open to trying new things. How do you know you don’t like it until you’ve tried it? Researchers say that kids need to taste new foods an average of 10 times before their taste buds adjust to it. The same principal applies to adults.
I have learned the truth of this concept from experience.
I used to hate camping. I had tried it once or twice and it was an unmitigated disaster. So, for years, I stayed away from the icky outdoor pastime.
But times changed, and camping was back on the table. I decided to try again. And after six or seven nights of sleeping outdoors, I discovered this: Sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s hard, but being open to trying it paved the way to incredible new possibilities.
I experienced this with strength training: for the first several decades of my life, I considered myself to be someone with no capacity to develop upper body strength. I didn’t even bother. And then I decided to see what would happen if I really worked at it, even with my supposed inaptitude. Surprise: Now I love rock climbing!
The list goes on. Snorkeling, sailing, target practice – some went well, and some…well, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. But I never would have experienced some of my most incredible moments had I never been willing to try.
The next time you’re presented with the chance to do something that’s out of your comfort zone, go ahead and try it. Give it your all. Make a concerted effort to enjoy it. Don’t fear failure.
Do this and you’ll enrich your life in ways that you never imagined possible.