It’s easy to get into a routine, and eventually have that routine turn into a rut. If we’re not careful, our lives can eventually start to feel as though we’re living the movie Groundhog Day.
There’s no question that to experience visible progress and creative momentum repetition is inevitable, if not necessary. But your day-to-day doesn’t need to be reflective of your month-to-month or year-to-year.
A few days ago, I started making a list of all the interesting things I’d experienced this year:
- Attending an event hosted by Phillip McKernan
- Publishing my first book
- Visiting my friend Mike Harrington in Colombia
- Being on the Glenn Beck show for the second time
- Going on a snowboarding trip with my team at Unmistakable to Breckenridge, CO
If you make such a list, you’ll be amazed, possibly horrified, and at least more aware of what things have added meaning to your life over the course of a year.
I believe that humans are meant to continually grow and evolve. But there’s a rather interesting paradox at play. As we get older, we tend to be less self-expressed, take fewer risks, and add less to the resume of our life experiences.
Rather than see aging as a reason to contract, we should view it as an opportunity to expand. We should make each day more interesting by doing these three things:
1. Try Something New
Part of what inspired this piece was my recent interest in snowboarding. For the last seven years, I’ve been an avid surfer, while occasionally dabbling in snowboarding. But this year I took a portion of my advance from my book and purchased a snowboard. I wanted to expand my board sports repertoire, and I’m guessing it won’t be long before I pick up kite surfing.
My personal preference when it comes to trying something new is physical activity, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Nearly every one of us has something in the back of our minds that we’ve always wanted to do. And usually, the excuses for why we haven’t done it yet are total BS. If you make expanding the horizons of your life a greater priority, they inevitably expand.
As Dave Vanderveen so brilliantly said in this animated short, “You never meet anyone who says ‘I’ve just done too much stuff in my life.’”
2. Say Yes
When we say no to everything that’s not aligned with our essential priorities, we make space for saying yes to the things that we’re curious about, the things that add meaning to our lives, and the edges we feel compelled to explore. A few weeks ago, a friend asked me if I wanted to live in Lake Tahoe for the winter. I said yes and bought a season pass. But somehow the housing situation didn’t work out and I was still stuck with this season pass.
Because I had the insurance I put some thought into getting a refund. In order to get my money’s worth, I’d need to spend five days in Lake Tahoe. When I thought about which would add more meaning to my life, the refund or a five-day ski trip, it was kind of a no-brainer. I even contacted a few of my friends who are entrepreneurs and asked if they might be interested in doing a ski and snowboarding mastermind of sorts. The rest is history.
Somehow, when we say yes to things we feel deeply compelled to say yes to, the stars start to align in our favor, and the expressions of our soul’s calling is nurtured.
3. Create More
If you increase your creative output every day of your life, you’ll not only build a substantial body of work but the foundation for an unmistakable creative legacy. Make good art daily. Take more pictures. Write more. Doodle more. It doesn’t have to be good, you just have to do it.
Compare less, create more, and spend your days on activities that add meaning to your life.
As Neil Gaiman once said, “leave the world more interesting for your having been here.” And make each year of your life more interesting than the one before.
This article was originally published on Medium. It has been republished here with permission.
Photo of person with dog courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Srinivas Rao is the founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast and author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best (Available for Pre-Order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble). Each Sunday his team rounds up the most unmistakable parts of the internet they have discovered in The Sunday Quiver. You can follow him on twitter @unmistakableCEO.More from this Author